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Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service, the Magic Garden Project (Joseph United Methodist Church), the Wallowa County Food System Council (WCFSC), and the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District (NEOEDD) invite Wallowa County residents to join a free community conversation about our food system that will take place Saturday, Mar. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Place, 303 S Lake St. in Joseph.

FEAST stands for Food Education Agriculture Solutions Together, and is a program developed by the Oregon Food Bank (OFB) to provide a forum for networking; sharing updates on local food-system efforts; and discussing opportunities for better food access, sustainable production, and reduced waste. FEAST workshops have helped rural communities across Oregon organize projects to improve the quality of food available to low-income residents, seniors and youth; connect local farmers with new marketing opportunities; encourage gardening; support nutrition and food preservation education; and learn from each other about community food projects and ideas.

The event features a free healthy community meal and will include a panel discussion with:

• Connie Guentert, Community Connection of NE Oregon
• Leslie Lamb, Ruby Peak Naturals
• Lindsey Briggs, Hawkins Sisters Ranch
• Ann Bloom, OSU Extension Service
• Kristen Ruckdashel, Winding Waters Clinic

Everyone will have the opportunity to participate in activities to share their ideas about how to support and improve the local food system.  A follow-up meeting with the WCFSC, also open to the public, will include the opportunity to discuss ideas from the FEAST event and select projects to receive OFB funds in 2017. 

The WCFSC is an ad hoc group of organizations, ranchers, farmers, and interested consumers with a vision of community members engaged in nurturing an equitable, local food system that promotes economic development, community development, and sustainable agriculture. Anyone interested in improving the local food system is welcome to join.

“We have made some important progress since our last FEAST event in 2011, with the formation of the council and completion of a community food assessment,” says NEOEDD Economic Development Specialist Sara Miller. “We’re hoping that community members will enjoy being part of the FEAST event, share their ideas about the local food system, and consider becoming more involved.”

The FEAST is free; registration is required by Monday, Feb. 27, here or by calling Kristy at 541-426-3598. Child care, translation services, and carpooling from Wallowa are available upon advance request. ADA accessible.

8 Mar 2017, 4:22 pm