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MA Food Plan Listening Session

MA Food Plan Listening Session

Wednesday, April 15th from 2-4pm, Mill 1 in Open Square, 4 Open Square Way, Holyoke, MA 

Massachusetts has a rich and diverse food system – from varied agriculture, to innovative food processing facilities, to initiatives that improve the health and affordability of food in our communities. The Massachusetts Food Policy Council has initiated a process to craft a statewide Food System Plan build a strong, robust food system where there is less hunger, more access to local and healthy foods, where there are improved job and business opportunities, and where food system development is ecologically sustainable.

We want to hear from you! Join us after lunch and weigh in on what’s happening on farms, in food processing, with community food organizations, and in fisheries.

  • What are you doing really well?
  • What are the major challenges in your area?
  • What do you see as the most important ways to improve our food system?

Your input is important for us to better understand the major strengths and obstacles in this region and to develop a well-informed plan for the Massachusetts food system.

Visit our website for more information on the planning process: www.mafoodplan.org.

 

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2015 Spring Forum – LAND: the foundation of a healthy food system

Preserve FarmlandLAND: the foundation of a healthy food system 

Wednesday, April 15th from 9:00-1:30pm, Mill 1 in Open Square, 4 Open Square Way, Holyoke, MA 

Sliding Scale Registration: $0-50, registration will open soon! Space is limited to 130.

There will be a MA Food Plan Listening Session following the Forum.

Just as a house needs a strong foundation to support it over time, farmers need secure access to land to produce food. Land is the foundation of our food system. 

  • How does access to farmland fit into a vision of creating a healthy, resilient, and equitable food system?
  • How can we ensure that farmland is available and protected for future generations?
  • What is the connection between food access and farmland access?
  • What can urban and rural communities learn from one another about accessing land for food production?

We all have a stake in supporting working farms by expanding secure access to land. Farmers with secure access can afford to purchase farmland or can obtain long-term leases that allow them to feel confident investing in the soil or other infrastructure. They live in communities that prioritize food production among other land uses. In our region, as elsewhere, food security – ensuring adequate, healthy food for all – is of great concern. Our region’s food security depends on farmers’ land security.

Join us for PVGrows’ 2015 Spring Forum to learn about the important role that secure access to land plays in our food system – and how we can all work to strengthen this foundation.

At the Forum we will explore topics related to land access including land affordability, land transfer and succession planning, land conservation, farm financing, farm viability, and food access. 

We will:

  • Learn why secure access to farmland is vital to creating a healthy, resilient, and equitable food system in the Pioneer Valley.
  • Understand the barriers facing producers who are trying to gain secure access to rural and urban farmland.
  • Get introduced to the diverse approaches available for overcoming these barriers including conservation easements, shared ownership, and creative leasing.
  • Hear stories of innovative approaches to land access and partnerships in rural and urban settings and meet with local people working on these issues.

Community support is critical to help farmers access, hold, and transfer land – and to keep working farms viable for future generations. Join us to learn more.

Like past Forums, the 2015 Spring Forum will include interactive sessions, structured networking, opportunities for collaboration, and a locally grown lunch. This event is open to anyone interested in and working for a healthy food system in the Pioneer Valley.

Read more here about the PVGrows Forum.

Video from previous PVGrows Forums are available on the PVGrows YouTube Channel.

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Food Justice: past, present and futre

The PVGrows Racial Equity in the Food System presents

Food Justice: past, present and future

Wednesday, March 11th

 4:00 – 6:00 PM at  the Holyoke Senior Center

291 Pine Street, Holyoke, MA 1st Floor Conference Room

RSVP here: http://conta.cc/1Di4B6j

Light refreshments will be served.

Who can buy healthy fresh vegetables in our region and who can’t? Why and why not? How has institutional racism shaped access to healthy food in our region and beyond? What is needed to build a resilient food system that provides for all?

The PV Grows Racial Equity in the Food System Working Group invites you to a conversation in which we will trace the practices of modern agriculture and food production back to plantation agriculture, examine some of the policies that have shaped food chain worker conditions, and together build tools for action in this region and beyond.

Then, we’ll imagine a Massachusetts where everyone has access to enough healthy, fresh, locally produced, safe, affordable, culturally appropriate food and where those that grow, harvest, distribute, and sell food make a living wage in a safe environment.

The Massachusetts Food Policy Council is leading a process to craft a statewide Food Systems Plan that ties together the many elements of the food system. The ideas generated at this event will inform the creation of an actionable plan to make our food system better serve our needs.

The PVGrows Racial Equity in the Food System Working Group gatherings provide a space for us to deepen our shared understanding of racism, how it shows up in the food system; and why food justice & racial equity are at the core of creating a healthy food system.

Events are open to anyone dedicated to creating a just and healthy food system in the Pioneer Valley.

Background Reading: 
How well are you representing a vibrant a food movement for the 21st century? by Kamilah Weeks
Reflections on Diversity and Inclusion in Western Mass by Andrew Morehouse
Why is PVGrows inviting our members to an Undoing Racism Training? by Liz O’Gilvie

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Meeting: 12/12 for the Food System Job Creation Working Group at the FCCDC

IMG_1559Friday, December 12, 2014
11:15am – 1:45pm

Franklin County CDC
Western MA Food Processing Center
324 Wells Street, Greenfield, MA

This is a bring your own brown bag lunch gathering.

Agenda:

 

  • Tour the Franklin County CDC facilities and get to see the the shiny new IQF: Individually Quick Frozen Nitrogen Tunnel in operation. Watch a video of the machine in action here.
  • Share updates on other food system job creation activities going on.
  • Discuss food processing job creation needs that are relevant to the development of the MA food system planning process and consider future opportunities and activities for this group.

Please RSVP by clicking HERE.

Working Group Updates:

If you have an update you want to share with the group, cannot attend but want to add your thoughts to future activities, or would like to provide an update on a job creation activity that you are involved in or know about, please email Please email Alex Risley Schroeder by Wed, 12/10 using the email subject “Food System Job Creation.”

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