A Cross-Programmatic Response to Food Insecurity Issues

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  • Community gardens are a growing phenomenon in cities, small towns and neighborhoods across America. Their popularity began in large part due to concerns for the safety of some imported food and affordability of fresh produce especially during a time of rising prices and the sustainability of our Nation’s food system.
  • A Cross-Programmatic Response to Food Insecurity Issues

    1. 1. Homegrown Response to Food Security in Jackson County Jackson County UW-Extension Luane Meyer Family Living Monica Lobenstein 4H/Youth Development Trisha Wagner Agriculture and Natural Resources
    2. 2. Food Insecurity in Jackson County? 2000 2008 2009 Poverty Rate 9.6% 12.6% - Food Share - 2,362 3,069 (Increase from 12% to 16% of population) In 2009, January (668) to December (834) Eligible for Free or Reduced Meals - 32-56% 36-58%
    3. 3. Food Insecurity in Jackson County? cont. Interviews with professionals, volunteers, and families  At parent conferences parents reported appreciation for program  Students shared with teachers that there is not much food in the house  “Mom is working so I will be on my own for meals”  Teachers observe students coming back on Monday less alert in part due to what food is available at home  “I would like to garden with my kids. It would be a good thing for us to do together.”
    4. 4. Friends Sharing Food Food 4 Kids Friends’ Food Shelf Jackson County Food Pantry
    5. 5. Friends Sharing Food (Fall 2007) • Recruit community members • Form organization structure • Identify current food resources • Identify mission and fundraising campaign
    6. 6. Food 4 Kids (April 2008) • Identify need • Locate storage and work space • Plan fundraising campaign • Identify source for purchasing food • Recruit coordinator
    7. 7. Food 4 Kids (continued) • Provide scholarships to encourage families to join the Community Garden • Provide bag inserts on food preparation tips and menu ideas • Expanded to Food Shelves at two middle and high schools in county
    8. 8. Friends’ Food Shelf (December 2009) • 501(c)3 group needed to distribute donated food • Locate site • Develop publicity • Identify volunteers • Recruit coordinators • Provide food preparation and food safety information
    9. 9. Jackson County Food Pantry (Under “new management” August 2010) • Due to retirement of coordinator FSF was asked to consider taking over coordination • This pantry receives commodities as part of The Emergency Food Assistance Program • Recruit coordinators
    10. 10. Spaulding Road Community Garden A place to Garden, Gather and Grow
    11. 11. Spaulding Road Community Garden • Getting started • Forming partnerships • Contributing to food security
    12. 12. Spaulding Road Community Garden Getting Started • Gathering interest – Educating the public/testing the waters – News paper articles, open house • Leadership – Committee members – Defining objectives – Getting organized • Promoting the garden – To the public, city officials, opponents – Presentations, press, displays, brochure/flyer, etc.
    13. 13. Black River Falls Community Garden Let’s Grow Something Together! http://www.uwex.edu/ces/cty/jackson/ag/index.html
    14. 14. A place to grow plants A place to hangout. A club A planthotel. 25% 25%25%25%1. A place to grow plants 2. A place to hang out. 3. A club 4. A plant hotel. What is a Community Garden?
    15. 15. What is a Community Garden? Community gardens come in all shapes and sizes depending on what members decide is best for their community.
    16. 16. What is a Community Garden? Urban or rural, grow fresh flowers, herbs, vegetables, fruits or trees…
    17. 17. What is a Community Garden? They can serve as a demonstration classroom for students and new gardeners… …as a gathering place for youth, the elderly and anyone in between…
    18. 18. Black River Falls Community Garden  Rent a garden plot where you and your family can grow fruits, vegetables, or flowers of your own. http://www.uwex.edu/ces/cty/jackson/ag/index.html
    19. 19. Black River Falls Community Garden Learn new techniques from other local gardeners for growing great fresh produce. http://www.uwex.edu/ces/cty/jackson/ag/index.html
    20. 20. Spaulding Road Community Garden Forming Partnerships • Volunteers – Committee members – Master Gardeners • Institutions and organizations – Black River Falls High school – City of Black River Falls – Black River Area Foundation – WI DNR – Workforce connections – Community Service – Boys and Girls Club of Jackson County – Friends Sharing Food • Local businesses
    21. 21. Spaulding Road Community Garden Contributing to food security Garden mission: Develop a community of gardeners who foster educational, healthful, and environmental activities in Jackson County. Offer : • Garden plots for rent for growing fresh fruit, vegetables and/or flowers. • Opportunity to learn gardening techniques from other gardeners to improve quality and production of fresh food. • Participate in a number of activities, workshops other special events dedicated to gardening, using garden produce, and community for youth and adults.
    22. 22. Youth Programming
    23. 23. Supporting Youth Involvement • Community Garden Board Member – Youth activities held during monthly adult workshops • Painting plant pots • Water conservation • Healthy snacks from the garden • Worm composting • And more
    24. 24. Bringing in Resources • 4-H2O Grant – Rain Barrel Project • Eating Well Being Active mini- grant – pedometers used to measure exercise • Youth Service America Grant – in application phase
    25. 25. AmeriCorps/VISTA Members • Key to supporting youth programming around food security: – Leading workshops at the Community Garden – Organized a winter clothing drive for the Friends Food Shelf – Led community service projects with youth to make hats and mittens for the Friends Food Shelf
    26. 26. Evaluation & Results Homegrown Response to Food Security in Jackson County
    27. 27. Food 4 Kids – Weekend Food Bags • 36 bags/week in 2008 • Increased to 72 bags/week in 2009 to present • Participants report: – Stretching their food dollar – Children are able to prepare the food – Participants find the information included in the bags helpful
    28. 28. Friends’ Food Shelf • Food Distribution: – As many as 184 families in 1 week – Averaging 160 families each week – Serving over 500 family members weekly across the county from 9 different communities – Distribute 3000 pounds of food weekly • Families using this service have become volunteers and a few have started plots at the Community Garden
    29. 29. Community Garden • 24 plots available in 2009 • Increased to 48 plots in 2010 • Gardeners include: – Limited income families & individuals – Boys & Girls Club of Jackson County – Black River Area Green School – Clients of Dept. of Health & Human Services
    30. 30. Community Garden • Participants in the garden report: – Saving $100-300 annually because of garden plot – Learning from their neighbors (talking with neighbors and looking at other plots) – Taking advantage of the expertise of Master Gardeners – Having more fun when they garden with others – Learning a lot at workshops that are offered
    31. 31. Jackson County Produce Exchange • 2009 was the first year • More vendors participated and produce volume increased in 2010 • Feedback from the community: – Happy to have a place to take extra produce so it doesn’t go to waste – Food Shelf clientele appreciated fresh produce
    32. 32. Volunteers • UWEX is a connection point for food security programs in Jackson County • Volunteers make things happen! • Nearly 3000 volunteer hours • Valued at over $51,000 in service to the community
    33. 33. Homegrown Response to Food Security in Jackson County… What ideas and suggestions did you think of while listening to this presentation? Questions?
    34. 34. Thank You Luane Meyer Family Living Agent Luane.meyer@ces.uwex.edu Monica Lobenstein 4H/Youth Development Agent Monica.lobenstein@ces.uwex.edu Trisha Wagner Agriculture Agent Trisha.wagner@ces.uwex.edu Jackson County UW-Extension 227 S. 11th Street Black River Falls, WI 54615 (715) 284-4257 Homegrown Response to Food Security in Jackson County

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