Food Security Project Update – August 5, 2011

Email sent out today:

Updates on the progress of efforts to strengthen the local food independence of State College dwellers below. I’ve added a lot of people to the list in the last couple of weeks – if you’re new to this list, it’s used to keep people interested in local food systems in the loop about State College-based local food initiatives. If you want to be removed from the list, please send me an email and I’ll take your address off the list. (For orientation/background, please check out this post: Food Security Network – Update July 20, 2011)

1) The Needs Assessment/Mapping Team of the State College Food Security Network met for the first time on July 25 and decided to begin with a short survey to identify their first five priorities for data collection and mapping. The team’s next meeting is Monday, August 8 at 7 p.m. Contact coordinator Bill Sharp (bsharple@comcast.net) for more information.

PLEASE FILL OUT THE SURVEY (one submission per IP address) to help the Mapping Team get off to a solid start identifying the most pressing community food security needs & opportunities. (The survey closes August 7 at 11 p.m., so the information can be compiled and forwarded to the team before their Aug. 8 meeting)

SURVEY LINK HERE 

2) The Building/Fundraising Team met for the first time on July 19, and since then, we’ve been working on incorporation documents to formalize as a nonprofit corporation (Spring Creek Homesteading Fund), and on identifying potential vacant, sunny lots suitable for community and neighborhood gardens, as a prelude to seeking access to those parcels for gardening. Local government folks at the State College Borough building are making encouraging noises – very good news. Apparently, a lot of residents call Borough offices to request information about household, neighborhood and community gardening and other local food issues, and a community group/NGO dedicated to facilitating public gardening projects, educational programs, establishment of new farmers’ markets – would be a helpful resource.

3) New VeggieCommons Homesteading Fund blog page – There’s a new Homesteading Fund page at the blog, to keep as much project-relevant information as possible all in one place. It’s password protected; if you’d like the password, please send me an email.

4) I’d like to create and post a Directory of people involved in local food security and food sovereignty work in and around State College. Inclusion in the Directory is OPT-IN – If you’d like to be listed as a supportive resource for other local food system cultivator folks, please send me a short bio/skill-set list and your preferred email address, and I’ll put you in the Directory.

5) Early sign-up for other ways to get involved. Once the nonprofit corporation is set up, Spring Creek Homesteading Fund will begin fundraising (including grant-writing) to support the establishment of community and neighborhood gardens, educational programs, and other local food projects. And once we have access to the first few plots of land to build the first few community & neighborhood gardens in the Borough, we’ll need gardeners. If you’re planning to donate money and/or help build gardens and teach or host classes, please send me an email to let me know, so I can begin building lists for when the times & places & opportunities come.

-KW (katherine_watt@hotmail.com)

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