Local Food Initiative News

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Celebrating the new SODO Community Market, local meat, CHOMP!, and more!

The local food team shares articles, exclusive interviews, and project updates that tell the story of how we are building a stronger, more resilient local food system. To measure the success of local food programs, we have identified 10 indicators of success that measure how well we are doing in our efforts to create a stronger, more affordable food system. Each article is directly connected to one or more of our 10 indicators of success which are shown below and will also be shown in each article. Click on the indicator icons for more information about our initiative!

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Local Food Initiative: 10 Indicators of Success

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Local food, music and fun at CHOMP! on Aug. 17


King County’s local food and sustainable living festival returns to Marymoor Park on Saturday, August 17! Celebrate all that is fresh, delicious, local, and sustainable at our 5th annual CHOMP!, featuring hands-on workshops, zucchini races, a farmers market, an upcycle bazaar, and so much more, including live music from Mavis StaplesCaspar Babypants and The Black Tones to name a few. This FREE event will inspire, entertain and feed your appetite for fresh, local and exciting food and sustainability. 

Read more about CHOMP! on the King County Parks' blog and follow the event on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all the CHOMP! news.

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Making meat local: King County helps develop USDA meat processing in Carnation

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In recent years, consumer demand for local food, including local meat and poultry, has risen. One of the barriers for livestock producers interested in meeting this demand has been the lack of processing facilities in King County that can safely prepare these products.

“USDA processing allows producers to sell sausages, steaks, burger patties, and a wide variety of other small cuts that are in high demand in King County,” said Darron Marzolf, butcher at Marzolf Meats. “The USDA mobile meat processing unit provides this service close to home for local livestock operators.”

In 2015, King County was approached by livestock producers from SnoValley Tilth and Puget Sound Meat Producers Cooperative to help bring a USDA meat processing system to serve King County producers who needed help overcoming the barriers to USDA meat processing.

King County applied for and received a Regional Food System Grant from the King Conservation District in 2016 to support, locate and build out a site for a USDA mobile meat processing unit (MPU). The goal of this project is to make local meat more accessible in King County while providing a variety of benefits to local producers and creating demand for local processors and butchers.

Visit DNRP's blog for the full story.


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Tukwila Village Farmers Market and Namaste Farm Stand: All communities welcome!


Tukwila Village Farmers Market and Namaste Farm Stand offer fresh produce grown by refugees and immigrants, and they accept SNAP benefits and match them with Fresh Bucks. These markets are places to build community and learn about food through cooking demonstrations and frequent family-friendly activities. You can also try a variety of international cuisines at Food Innovation Network’s Taste Around the Globe booth featuring emerging food businesses.  

Tukwila Village Farmers Market is open from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesdays from June 19-Oct. 16. It’s located at Tukwila Village Plaza (14350 Tukwila International Blvd, Tukwila).

Namaste Farm Stand is open from 4-7 p.m. on Thursdays from June 20-Oct. 17. It’s located in the lobby at Matt Griffin YMCA (3595 S 188th St, SeaTac); YMCA members and non-members are welcome!

Feel free to download and share the Tukwila Village Farmers Market & Namaste Farm Stand flier.


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Blurring the lines between food pantries and grocery stores at SODO Community Market


This story was first published in the June 24, 2019 edition of The Seattle Times.

The SODO Community Market opened its doors Monday, June 24 in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood, offering fresh produce, soups, and grains to those experiencing food insecurity. The food pantry is now one of hundreds of Northwest Harvest’s food distribution centers in Washington. 

However, the new center was built with a twist. Instead of visitors lining up to be handed bagged lunches, they fill their baskets with food and then “check out” as if they were shopping at a grocery store. Workers restock the shelves during business hours, increasing their interaction with shoppers and availability to answer questions.

“It’s more like a grocery store, less like an institution,” CEO Thomas Reynolds said during a news conference just before the food bank opened its doors. “A place that really [feels] respectful and dignified, really kind of warm and fun and welcoming.”

“We want to blur the line between food pantries and grocery stores,” he said. “We want to merge them into one.”

Read Seattle Times' article for more information.


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