Key Organizations and Activities
ACCESS is encouraging consumption of more fresh, local food in low-income communities with a “Go 4 Real Food” campaign with cooking demonstrations, a healthy corner store initiative, and a Fruit & Vegetable Prescription program offered with Jackson Care Connect.
A Rogue Valley Food System Network was also established in 2013, with 15 board members representing six food system areas (health/nutrition education, food security, land use/farm land preservation, local food production, local food marketing, and food system research/evaluation).
Fry Family Farm is also developing a new food aggregation and distribution hub, with support from Oregon Regional Solutions and the USDA Local Food Promotion Program, which will help local farmers better serve regional wholesale markets.
Community Goals and Recommendations
Priorities from the 2013 community food assessment included:
- Expand the market for local food through grocery stores
- Develop a system to transport local food from the farm to the market.
- Increase access to processing and storage space for food businesses to extend seasonal availability of local foods and add value through the production of specialty foods.
- Offer hands-on cooking education to food insecure and other target populations.
- Develop avenues to make fresh, healthy foods more accessible and affordable in parts of the community where these foods are not readily available.
- Provide support to community gardens and increase access to garden space.
- Increasing use of food scraps for compost to reduce landfill.
- Make food system information more available and increase opportunities to share information and connect across sectors of the food system.
The Rogue Valley Community Food Systems Network has adopted its own set of strategic plan goals for 2016-2018, which include:
- Increase visibility and engagement with the community
- Convene critical stakeholders to assess and address challenges, and to connect the dots
- Collaborate with regional and statewide food system efforts
- Ensure the sustainability of the Network.