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Community Food Resources

Purpose

As the regional food bank, CAPECO serves the counties of Umatilla, Morrow, Gilliam and Wheeler with emergency food support at 16 partnering meal sites and pantries around the region, providing them, as well as commodity food basket recipients, over 1 million pounds of food each year.

Our Community Foods Program assists communities and individuals moving beyond the need for emergency food toward food self-reliance and security. Building capacity at the local level is the key to increasing the availability, accessibility and affordability of food.

With funding from the Oregon Food Bank and other grants, and with the help of volunteers and community partners and organizers, we work to address the root causes of hunger. Together we find ways to 'grow the groceries', not just for individuals, but for entire communities. Through community outreach, education and training we facilitate the expansion of community and school gardens, farm and food-related entrepreneurial activities and farmers' markets. We help people grow, cook, buy and eat more affordably and healthily as close to home as possible - growing not just food, but 'community' and quality of life.

Projects

Community Food Assessment: "From Our Roots: the People, Food and Agriculture of Gilliam, Morrow, Umatilla and Wheeler Counties" (2010)

"Local Food & Farm Guide" - annual food & farm directories listing food sources and resources by county, including education tools and emergency sources as well as gleaning, u-pick and retail sources of locally produced foods;

Community Education & Outreach: Cooking Matters © cooking & nutrition courses; "Garden Fresh" cooking & preserving classes; Shopping Matters © - buying healthy on a budget, including couponing and farmers' market purchasing. Producer-Purchaser workshops - networking farmers with institutional food purchasers such as local Headstart, hospitals and school meal programs.

Community Gardens: In partnership with Umatilla-Morrow OSU Extension Master Gardeners - local garden development exchanging our water for their produce donations and gardening education; "Thriving Gardens" grants (2010) - small grants for local community garden development;

Farmers' Market Promotion Project: Farmers' Market SNAP and WIC Expansion project (2011-12) - conducting outreach to low-income individuals and agencies that serve them we will expand SNAP and WIC purchasing at farm stands and farmers' markets; assisting community organizers and growers to meet that demand; and creating a regional market manager network for development and support.

Farm-to-School Network: connecting school district nutrition and food service staff, teachers, school gardeners, farmers and state agencies to expand fresh, healthy, local food resources and education opportunities in schools.

Local Food Networks: The Community Food Resource Developer staffs and coordinates the regional food network of stakeholders, the Columbia Plateau Food Links. They envision a local food system that will support our region's access to healthy, sustainable and economically viable food. They maintain a website and you may access the Umatilla - Morrow - Gilliam - Wheeler 2012 Local Food And Farm Guide at http://columbiaplateaufood-org.doodlekit.com/home (which will soon be updated, maybe moved).

Visit us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Columbia-Plateau-Food-Links/360414526988

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