Key Organizations and Activities
North Coast Food Web, a local non-profit, is involved in many food system efforts, including:
- Hosting the River People Farmers Market.
- Deploying about 60 “Mobile Gardens” in shopping carts each year, which are distributed to schools, senior centers, and low-income housing developments.
- Developing community and school gardens.
- Renovating a 1,200 sq. ft. building for use as meeting space and a community kitchen.
North Coast Food Web and the Clatsop Community Action Regional Food Bank collaborated to offer the Cooking Matters program (developed by Share Our Strength and administered in Oregon by Oregon Food Bank). Each Cooking Matters course includes six 2.5-hour classes with hands-on cooking and nutrition instruction. Students who complete at least 4 classes receive a certificate, which has reportedly helped some find employment.
Over the last several years, North Coast Food Web has also collaborated with another non-profit, Food Roots, to publish the on-line North Coast Food Guide and to support an annual Grow the Coast Conference.
Other key local organizations include the Astoria Co-op Grocery and Skippanon Brand Seafood, which operates a community supported fisheries program.
Community Goals and Recommendations
In recent years, North Coast Food Web has focused on opening its community kitchen, continuing to grow the River People’s Farmers market, and expanding its cooking, school garden, and nutrition education programs.
Additional goals from the 2010 community food assessment include:
- Hold quarterly community gatherings to discuss food system updates and networking.
- Continue to update and distribute the North Coast Food Guide.
- Support North Coast fisheries.
- Improve local producers’ access to processing and distribution.
- Increase market outlets for local producers.
- Increase amount of local produce and meat in North Coast grocery stores.
Clatsop County, with only 199 total farms, ranks second to last for agricultural production among all Oregon Counties – and has fewer than 20 farms reporting sales of fruits and vegetables.
Growing the local food market further will require increasing the availability and diversity of crops by increasing acreage under production and adoption of season extension strategies.