I just met with Sydney Leonard, the Community Food Systems Coordinator for Wy'East Resource, Conservation and Development. Leonard is spearheading the September 10th Central Oregon Food Summit and had some very interesting insights into the event.
For those of you who don't know about the Central Oregon Food Summit, or are confused on what it is (I was in the latter population), let me fill you in. The Central Oregon Food Summit is open to the public and is a daylong community discussion on how to address hunger and access to local food in the region.
The Food Summit is basically the first community meeting after the results from the Central Oregon Community Food Assessment have been announced. Leonard, an Americorps member, coordinated the assessment to see where in the tri-county region there is the most need for programs, from bringing local food to schools to helping farmers process meat.
At the Food Summit, farmers, organizers from non-profits like Neighbor Impact, Slow Food High Desert and the Heart Institute of the Cascades will join anyone else who wants to attend in the discussion. Topics range from enhancing emergency food services, access to locally grown foods and starting a regional food systems council.
Leonard has already helped the Bend Farmers Market accept food stamps, so I can't wait to see what comes out of the Food Summit. Look for a more in-depth preview piece in the Source Weekly on September 8. To register for the event (it's $20 and includes lunch) and read more from the organizers, visit cofoodsummit.yolasite.com.