The Oregon Community Food Systems Network (OCFSN) is a collaboration of 53 nonprofit organizations and allies dedicated to strengthening local and regional food systems to deliver better economic, social, health and environmental outcomes across the state
All Oregonians will have meaningful access to healthy and affordable foods that are grown and processed regionally in an environmentally and economically resilient food system that provides entrepreneurial opportunity and fulfilling livelihoods for employees throughout the supply chain.
OCFSN has also adopted the UCSAREP definition of a sustainable community food system.
OCFSN provides networking, information sharing, research, education, training, planning, fundraising, coordination, evaluation, and communications capacity to enhance the ability of participating organizations to achieve our food system vision.
Oregon Community Food System Network acknowledges that our food system is built and maintained on a foundation of oppression & systemic racism of Native peoples, people of color, and immigrants. Through a coordinated statewide network, we address this historic & systemic inequality in land ownership, food access, and labor by prioritizing the allocation of resources, decision making and power to historically excluded communities. We aim to hold ourselves accountable by building relationships, seeking inclusive participation, and practicing transparency.
- Improve communication and collaboration at local, regional and state levels
- Identify, and support replication and expansion of effective programs,
- Enhance member programmatic and administrative capacity and efficiency,
- Develop collaborative solutions to deliver better on-the-ground outcomes,
- Jointly measure and report outcomes to track statewide impact,
- Facilitate funding for OCFSN sponsored projects,
- Identify and advocate for state, regional and local policy solutions,
- Collectively achieve greater progress toward our shared food system vision.
History of OCFSN
OCFSN emerged from a series of statewide Community Food Systems Convenings funded by Meyer Memorial Trust that were held annually from 2012 to 2016. These Convenings were an opportunity for non-profit and community leaders from across the state to meet and share information about local and regional food systems development efforts. Participants quickly recognized the benefits of peer-to-peer networking, shared learning, and collaboration, and began to think about means to link and support the growing number of groups working on farm and food systems issues.
Planning began in earnest in 2014 with a group of volunteers drafting a proposal for formation of OCFSN. That proposal was affirmed in 2015 by 34 founding members, who also established four initial priority areas for collective action:
- SNAP Match, an incentive program that allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants to use their benefits to buy local food and receive a dollar for dollar match to buy local fruits and vegetables.
- Veggie Rx, programming with healthcare providers to address food insecurity and improve health outcomes for patients with diet related disease.
- Increasing and improving Access to Land for new and expanding small farmers.
- Supporting Beginning Farmers & Ranchers by providing comprehensive services and outreach to this population.
- Wholesale Market Development to increase the flow of local food to retail and institutional buyers.
OCFSN was formally established with approval of by-laws in February 2016 and the election of the Leadership Team in June 2016. The OCFSN membership also grew to include 40 farm and food focused organizations.
OCFSN Leadership Team and Staff
Leadership Team Members
Sara Miller (Chair)
Economic Development Specialist, NEOEDD
Greg Holmes (Vice Chair)
Food Systems Program Director, 1,000 Friends of Oregon
Spencer Masterson (Secretary)
Community Food Systems Manager, Oregon Food Bank
Yesenia Gallardo (Treasurer)
Northwest Community Food System Coordinator, Health Care Without Harm
Katrina Van Dis
Program Administrator, COIC
Associate Director, OSU Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems
Community Food Projects Manager, Marion Polk Food Share
Executive Director, Gorge Grown Food Network
Food and Farms Director, Ecotrust
Matthew Buck, Network Coordinator