Access to good food for all. Who can’t get behind that idea? Turns out, once you start to walk down that road, you find a lot of complexities—factors that add up to a lack of access to good food by food insecure populations. That’s what I hear from folks who are addressing this “wicked problem” on a daily basis. But note that they *are* addressing the problem. This month in Food+Co-ops, let’s take a look at how.
Pieces of the puzzle include consumer education, cost, and transportation.
How can we increase knowledge about where to find good food, how to prepare it, and where to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (aka food stamps, known in Vermont as 3SquaresVT)?
How can we make good food affordable, and also help people understand the ‘true cost of food’ and how it relates to prices charged by farmers and big box retailers?
How do folks get to and from the places where good food is available?
One strategy that you’ll see across the two leadership tales below is community partnerships. So let’s take a look at how NOFA-VT and an alliance within the New England cooperative economy are making strides each day toward this important and powerful goal. Continue reading Food+Co-ops: Access to Good Food for All→
This month in Food+Co-ops, let’s look at recent developments in the Farm to Institution market channel. NOFA-VT is a leader in making sense of this market. In 2012, NOFA-VT and VT FEED released Scaling Up Vermont’s Local Food Production, Distribution, and Marketing, a report quantifying demand by VT institutions for certain products, and inventorying statewide infrastructure. Erica Campbell, Farm to Plate Program Director at Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, noted that this report provides the most accurate data available on such demand. See below for how NOFA-VT’s leadership continues on the ground.
NOFA VT’s Winter Conference is the best-attended gathering of farmers and their allies in Vermont each year. The theme of the 2013 conference was Generations of Innovation. Implied in that theme is the value of next-generation leadership. In this first of a monthly series of posts on the connections between food, co-ops, and community, NOFA-VT member Eric Deluca will focus on youth leadership development. Here are two inspiring stories: one on food and the other about co-ops. They showcase what’s possible in the world of youth leadership development. You’ll see themes like peer-to-peer learning; that’s no accident. You can do this too! Continue reading Food+Co-ops: Next Generation Leadership→
Local Farms • Healthy Food • Strong Communities • • • the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont