Local Food Initiative News

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New report highlights potential for infrastructure to transform King County's local food system

Food Facility

As a part of the Local Food Initiative's goals to grow the local food and farm economy and increase healthy, affordable food access for underserved populations, King County has been exploring the need for and the opportunities to develop local food system infrastructure. This infrastructure includes commercial kitchens, cold storage, and warehouse space necessary to support small farm and food businesses, non-profit organizations working on food access issues, and food rescue and recovery efforts. 

The new Local Food Facility Business Concept Report was recently completed by ECONorthwest, a local economic consulting firm, and builds on the initial Opportunities Report, which explores the nature of the demand for local food system infrastructure and how a facility could become a pivotal hub to grow businesses and connect local food partners. The new report analyzes ownership models, economic modeling, and funding for a potential facility. The successful development of this infrastructure has the potential to have wide-ranging benefits including economic development, food waste reduction, job training, food access, and community development.

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Read the full the Local Food Facility Business Concept Report here


Celebrate the holidays with new Washington Food & Farm Finder from Eat Local First Collaborative

WA Finder

The Eat Local First Collaborative recently announced the launch of the new Washington Food & Farm Finder, a comprehensive and mobile-friendly searchable database connecting Washington State residents with more than 1,700 sustainable and organic farms, farmers markets, and food businesses around the state. With the holidays fast approaching and consumers more interested than ever in sourcing from local farms, the new tool will be an asset. 

“It’s a wonderful time of year for Washington farms. Consumers might be wondering what’s in season but there are so many locally sourced products that are readily available, it’s easy to celebrate and support these small local farms and businesses,” says Sheryl Wiser of Tilth Alliance. Consumers are invited to browse the Holiday Food & Farm Finder for ideas on where to shop, holiday meal planning and gift ideas, what’s in season and more. There’s even a Holiday Gift Guide featuring farms and local producers with online stores for easy at-home shopping. 

To find local food growers and producers, please visit the Washington Food & Farm Finder. For more information, visit the Eat Local First Collaborative website.

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Toward Market Cities: Lessons on Supporting Public Market Systems From Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Toronto

Market Cities

Public markets can be some of the most impactful and welcoming public spaces within cities, improving public health and offering inclusive access to entrepreneurship. When the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread stay-at-home orders and business closures, many markets continued to safely provide fresh and healthy food to residents as supply chains were strained and served as an economic lifeline to farmers and other producers.

This new report highlights several farmers markets in Seattle, including Queen Anne, Seattle Farmers Markets Association, and Pike Place Market, who have been working closely with the Project for Public Spaces to develop their local Market City strategies since March 2020. The report includes their research efforts and each pilot city’s finding and recommendations. This report not only discusses the challenges faced by markets in Seattle, but also highlights the unique power of farmers markets to provide safe and affordable access to local produce and business opportunities.

Please read the full report here.

Image courtesy of Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets.

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Fighting hunger together with PCC Community Markets Food Bank Program

PCC Markets

Food banks in our region are responding to unprecedented levels of community need this year. PCC Community Market’s shopper-funded food bank program, which has been serving the community for over 30 years, has supported the community with innovative solutions in response to COVID. PCC’s holiday food bank drive during the month of December provides an opportunity to support their work. All of the funds donated to the PCC Food Bank Program go directly to support 17 local food bank partners throughout the year.

In response to the pandemic, a partnership with Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets and Harvest Against Hunger formed, creating a system for their food bank partners to purchase produce directly from farms economically impacted by the closure of farmer’s markets. In 2020, PCC’s shopper-funded food bank program contributed $112,000 to this CSA style model, providing immediate support to farmers while allowing purchasing flexibility for food banks. 

Whatever 2021 might hold, with your help, the co-op will continue to find innovative ways to help the community fight hunger.

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Visit the PCC Food Bank Program website for more information and to support!


No Holiday party this year? Ventures’ catering clients have you covered.

ventures

Help support a small local micro enterprise catering business and treat your team to an amazing meal this holiday season. Ventures' clients have created individually wrapped menu options, which can be delivered to your office or meeting location, and picked up by your team members through contactless pick-up! Click here to view the menus.

Ventures is a non-profit organization that empowers individuals with limited resources and unlimited potential to improve their lives through small business ownership. They provide access to business training, capital, coaching, and hands-on learning opportunities for entrepreneurs. 

Please visit Ventures' website to learn more about their organization and impact.

Photo courtesy of Ventures.

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