Key Organizations and Activities
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon completed a community food assessment for Benton County in 2006. Ten Rivers Food Web published a food assessment summary for Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties in 2012 and a separate 2014 community food assessment for Benton County. A feasibility study for a South Corvallis Food Center was completed in 2012 (part 1 and part 2).
The Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments has also published a State of the Region report for Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties, with a sub-report on food access and agriculture.
Ten Rivers Food Web also supports an on-line local food directory for Linn, Lincoln, and Benton counties.
The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition has a Food Action Team, which is promoting a 40% Local Food Pledge and has produced a Corvallis Garden Resource Guide. First Alternative Co-operative grocery is promoting a related Local 6 branding effort to promote food from a six county region including Benton, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion & Polk counties.
Corvallis Environmental Council has an Edible Corvallis program that includes the SAGE education garden, farm to school projects and community gardening.
OSU Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems works statewide to advance sustainable agriculture, community food systems, and economic progress for Oregon’s small farmers and ranchers.
Community Goals and Recommendations
The three county assessment summary published by Ten Rivers Food Web contains a clear statement of goals:
- Support farmers, fishers, and food entrepreneurs with information sharing, networks, workshops, marketing, and distribution.
- Facilitate discussions and partnerships for local food processing and storage.
- Increase year-round availability of local food.
- Determine demand for local food through an economic market analysis.
- Expand awareness of local food and build relationships between producers and consumers through educational events and communications.
- Support rural grocery stores offering local/healthy food promotions.
- Connect institutional buyers with local food producers.
- Create stronger links between health initiatives and community food projects.
- Improve access to local, healthy food for all, and promote socio-economic, cultural, and rural/urban diversity in food systems work.
The 2014 Benton County assessment also includes references to:
- Helping farmers adapt to climate change.
- Improving access to capital and land for new and expanding farmers.
- Facilitating compliance with new food safety regulations.