Key Organizations and Activities
Marion-Polk Food Share completed a community food assessment for Marion and Polk Counties in 2015.
Marion-Polk Food Share also supports a network of 53 gardens in Marion and Polk counties, ranging from school projects to urban farms to demonstration sites to neighborhood gardens. A community kitchen is also used for demonstrations and cooking classes. A Youth Farm at Chemeketa Community College Salem campus also provides training in small farm business management.
A Mid-Willamette Valley Food Summit was held in 2016.
Salem Harvest is a nonprofit organization that connects farmers and backyard growers with volunteer pickers to harvest fruits and vegetables to share with food pantries.
A Planting Communities group exists in Woodburn promoting gardening and food self-sufficiency.
A Rooted in Food group has started in Silverton.
The City of Salem is also considering development of public market and food business incubator on the Portland Road corridor.
Community Goals and Recommendations
Priorities from the 2015 community food assessment include:
Opportunities for Agriculture
- Develop a Mid-Willamette Valley Farmer Network.
- Develop a Regional Food Label.
- Provide New Farmer Support and Training.
- Develop a Mid-Willamette Valley Food Hub.
Opportunities for Increasing Food Access
- Increase Latino Community Outreach and Involvement.
- Support School-Based Hunger-Relief Efforts.
- Provide SNAP and match incentives at Farmers Markets.
- Improve Rural Emergency Food Assistance.
Opportunities for Community Food Systems Development
- Cultivate Community Food System Leadership.
- Support Community Education about Local Agriculture.
- Publish a Local Food Guide.
- Address the Social-Impacts of Agriculture and Engage Farmworker Communities.
- Facilitate Farm to Institution Value Chains.