At the steering committee meetings, where I focus on representing the interests of Chuckanut Transition and creating resilient, inclusive communities, I vocalize the need for grassroots network building and informal barter economy. As well, I share forecasts of drastic changes like rising gas and food prices, and emphasize on the ongoing problems that lie between low stagnant wages and the rising cost of living. I shine a light on the fact that making local food affordable largely depends on "who you know." Building grow-your-own food networks and relationships with farmers at your neighborhood farmers market is essential in making budgets work for a local food diet.
The steering committee has nearly completed six listening sessions hosted around Skagit Valley interviewing low income consumers about what is working for them in their pursuits of healthy, local food and what are their biggest roadblocks. We will be sharing this valuable information after it all has been gathered and evaluated.
Our next step is to host two stakeholder meetings this spring and early summer. At these stakeholder meetings, community volunteers/advocates will work with invested business owners and public agencies to evaluate the information gathered at the listening sessions, then continue to network and intentionally identify where our own interests overlap and those of the greater community intercept. The stakeholder meetings are scheduled for April 21st and June 23rd.
I’ll keep you posted,