Author: Matthew Buck, OCFSN Coordinator
Publish Date: Fall 2016
The Oregon Community Food Systems Network (OCFSN) is pleased to announce the launch of its new website(OCFSN.net). As a collaboration of 40 nonprofit organizations and allies dedicated to strengthening local and regional food systems, OCFSN strives to deliver better economic, social, health and environmental outcomes across the state.
In order to accomplish this goal, the Network focused on four initial priority areas identified for collective action: SNAP Match Incentives, working to double the purchasing power of every SNAP dollar spent in Oregon farmers’ markets and rural grocery stores, Veggie Rx, researching the preventive health benefits of fruit and vegetable subsidy programs, Access to Land, supporting land transfers to beginning farmers through innovative ownership and lease models to address the rising cost of farmland and challenges with access to capital, and Wholesale Market Development, helping small farmers with business management and market development challenges to maximize sales of local foods to retail and institutional markets.
The Network envisions a resilient food system for Oregon, which requires meaningful access to healthy and affordable foods that are grown and processed regionally, with entrepreneurial opportunity and fulfilling livelihoods for employees throughout the supply chain. The Network brings people and organizations together to change the food system through a common understanding of issues and shared goals, which are established through a common set of indicators developed from data for all 36 Oregon counties.
OCFSN holds an annual convening of its members during which non-profit and community leaders from across the state engage in peer-to-peer networking, shared learning, and collaboration in order to connect to and support each other’s work on farm and food systems issues. Public interest organizations that join OCFSN are eligible to attend the annual convening. OSU’s Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems is one of two “backbone” organizations for the Network; the other is Oregon Food Bank.
The Network is growing its membership and its staff—it recently welcomed its first AmeriCorps RARE member, Tori Wilder, to the team. Tori will be serving with OCFSN for 11 months, building the capacity of the Network and its members to develop resilient community food systems.