New Network Aims to Strengthen Oregon’s Food Future

40 Nonprofits See Common Cause in Local and Regional Food Systems
 
The Oregon Community Food Systems Network (OCFSN) is a newly launched
collaborative involving 40 nonprofit organizations and partners dedicated to strengthening local and
regional food systems in order to deliver strong economic, social, health and environmental outcomes
across the state.
 
OCFSN has adopted the UC Davis Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program definition of a
‘sustainable community food system,’ which is “a collaborative network that integrates sustainable food
production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management in order to enhance the
environmental, economic and social health of a particular place.”
 
OCFSN envisions a resilient and sustainable food system for Oregon, with meaningful access for all
residents to healthy and affordable foods that are grown and processed regionally, and entrepreneurial
opportunity and fulfilling livelihoods for employees throughout the supply chain.
 
OCFSN backbone organizations include OSU Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems,
Oregon Food Bank, and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council. OCFSN aims to bring stakeholders
together through identification of shared goals using a set of food system indicators with data for all 36
Oregon counties. OCFSN members have identified four initial priority areas for collective action, including:
 SNAP Match: Doubling the purchasing power of SNAP (federal food assistance) dollars spent on
Oregon produce in farmers’ markets and rural grocery stores.
 
 Veggie Rx: Partnering with health care providers to improve health outcomes by increasing
consumption of fresh local foods.
 
 Access to Land: Supporting planned land transitions and solutions to access to land and capital
challenges for beginning farmers.
 
 Wholesale Market Development: Business and value-chain development to maximize sales of local
foods to retail and institutional markets.
 
OCFSN members will be holding a Community Food Systems Statewide Convening in early 2017, where
non-profit and community leaders from across the state will gather to share updates and make connections
to further develop Oregon’s food systems. New members are welcome and encouraged to visit the website
for more information. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.
 
OCFSN Chair Sara Miller, of the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District, says, “From
grassroots community gardens to state policies on agriculture financing, having a network like this to share
information and organize collective efforts is a huge step towards strengthening Oregon’s complex food
system. I’m looking forward to seeing continued results from projects already underway and learning about
new work happening across the state.”
 
More information about OCFSN is available at http://ocfsn.net/. New members are welcome and
applications can be submitted any time at http://ocfsn.net/join-ocfsn/.
 
THE OREGON COMMUNITY FOOD SYSTEMS NETWORK
Strengthening Food Systems in Oregon
*For more information on OCFSN statewide, contact:
OCFSN Leadership Team Chair
Sara Miller, Economic Development Specialist
Northeast Oregon Economic Development District
541-426-3598
saramiller@neoedd.org
*For more information on OCFSN in your region, contact:
OCFSN Regional Representatives
South West:
Greg Holmes
Food Systems Program Director, 1000 Friends of Oregon
541-474-1155
greg@friends.org
Central:
Katrina Van Dis, Program Administrator
Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council
541-504-3307
kvandis@coic.org
Willamette Valley:
Lauren Gwin, Associate Director
Oregon State University Center for Small Farms
& Community Food Systems
541-737-1569
Lauren.Gwin@oregonstate.edu
Portland Metro:
Stacey Sobell, Food & Farms Director
Ecotrust
503-467-0751
ssobell@ecotrust.org
North Coast:
Lauren Sorg, Executive Director
Food Roots
503-815-2800
lauren.sorg@foodrootsnw.org
South Coast:
Michelle Martin, Director of Economic Development
Neighborworks Umpqua
541-414-6368
mmartin@nwumpqua.org