Food Summit addresses local hunger
July 23, 2013 — Lassen County’s Public Health Department and partners hosted the Lassen FEAST Food Summit July 9 at the Honey Lake Valley Grange in an effort to alleviate hunger in Lassen County.
The all day event featured presentations by a number of individuals and organizations to address food insecurity in our region.
The need and the numbers are staggering. Countywide, 17.4 percent of the county’s population (6,080 individuals) is classified as food insecure, meaning they don’t have access to enough food to lead an active, healthy life. A whopping 69 percent of those people are not eligible to apply for food stamps.
Nearly a fourth of all children in Lassen County, 23.2 percent, also classified as food insecure, and 44 percent of students are eligible for subsidized school meals.
“We had community members step up and want to develop a community food council,” said Bethany Edholm, of Lassen Public Health. “That’s going to be big. And we had quite a few conversations around trying to support the schools,” and possibly a summer food program.
Sample vision statements from the working groups included community gardens, year-round markets, community processing of foodstuffs, nutrition education, food literacy, beginning farmers and low-income access.
“Basically what came out of the event was a lot of these topics were discussed, and the people agreed to be part of a community food council,” Edholm said.
The event’s goals were to build an understanding of the scope of food insecurity in Lassen County, gain a basic understanding of community food security and strategies for achieving it, identify initial goals for a local food system organizing plan and outline the next steps and identify who will accomplish them.
Presentations were made by Kristi Jamason and Lyndsey Langsdale, of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, Jason and Rhonda Meadows, of Trail’s End Farms, Dawn German-Howe, of Johnstonville Elementary School, Janice Gotcher, of Communities United for Children and Families in Herlong, Rick Stewart, of Susanville Supermarket, and Kathy Lindner, of Lindner Bison.
This event was funded by the Lassen County SNAP-Ed program and facilitated by the Northern Nevada Food Bank in coordination with the local steering committee of representatives from Lassen County, the United States Department of Agriculture, Honey Lake Grange, Lassen Land and Trails Trust, the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion as well as local farmers, ranchers and community members.
For more information, call Edholm at 251-8183 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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