Key Organizations and Activities
Oregon Food Bank completed a community food assessment for Tillamook County in 2013.
Food Roots, a non-profit based in Tillamook County with a mission to cultivate a healthy food system for the North Coast of Oregon, leads or is involved in many local efforts. Food Roots:
- Publishes a Tillamook County Locally Grown Guide.
- Has hosted 5 Food Corps service members to construct school gardens and provide children and youth with garden-based education in 3 school districts.
- Provides support, including SNAP match programming, to 4 county farmers’ markets.
- Offers business planning and IDA savings accounts for farm/food entrepreneurs, and,
- Has partnered with the Port of Tillamook to construct two 30’ by 72’ hoop houses for extended season production, education and training.
Over the last several years, Food Roots has also collaborated with another non-profit, North Coast Food Web, to publish the on-line North Coast Food Guide and to support an annual Grow the Coast Conference.
A new organization, Nehelem Valley Farm Trust, was formed in 2014 to preserve farmland and increase local food production.
Other key organizations include Community Supported Fishery, a for-profit “boat to table” enterprise owned by fishermen operating out of the Port of Garibaldi.
Community Goals and Recommendations
The 2013 community food assessment includes goals in several categories, including:
- Agriculture and Fisheries
- Diversify agricultural production with crops suited to the North Coast climate.
- Increase access to land and training for beginning farmers.
- Get more local seafood into local markets.
- Food Access and Health:
- Increase participation in supplemental nutrition programs (SNAP, etc.).
- Increase availability of summer meal programs for children.
- Bring more healthy food into school meals and the emergency food system.
- Community Food Systems
- Create a formal county food system coalition or council.
- Conduct an economic analysis of the impact of the local food economy.
- Address infrastructure deficits for farmers and food entrepreneurs.
Tillamook County has lost nearly a third of its grocery stores since 2007 (3 out of 11) and has an average meal cost that is 13% higher than the Oregon average. This has likely helped spur per capita spending on food direct from farms at nearly 180% the Oregon average. 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.