2020 Summit Lightning Talks - Michelle Worden
From Lindsey Jene Scalera
Farm2Neighbor is a spearhead program that allows food pantries and meal sites in Northwest Lower Michigan to collectively purchase locally-grown produce to distribute to their clients. The program leverages system change across organizations, social service areas, and fundraising streams. This program started in 2018 by the Northwest Food Coalition, a group of roughly 70 meal sites and food pantries in NW Michigan. It arose from the system map question: “What factors affect the ability of food insecure individuals to meet their nutritional needs.” Farm2Neighbor improves health in under-served communities; increases economic impact of the local farm economy; supports local environmentally sustainable agriculture; provides nutrition education in pantries in conjunction with Farm to School programs. This program began small, but with the larger vision to build an infrastructure foundation that would create resiliency. Participants will also examine the ripple effects that change can have in complex systems, through the example of the Groundwork Center’s Local Food Relief Fund.