A perfect storm of food needs during the Covid-19 Crisis presents west central Missouri with an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen local people and places with farm fresh foods.
The free webinar Feed Communities Local Food Now is designed to help west central Missouri schools, food pantries, and other emergency and everyday food buyers work with area farms.
Webinar speakers (listed below) bring direct experience with feeding programs, local food purchasing, and farm produce wholesale marketing. Some Covid-19 Crisis funding and program expansions are helping emergency food buyers, and allow for local food purchasing. Area farms struggling with market disruption are available to supply community food needs.
Tune in to learn more!
Webinar: Feed Communities Local Food Now
2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuesday May 12, 2020
You must register to receive webinar login information.
Please complete the buyer questionnaire if you are a food buyer from the west central Missouri region. Information collected will help webinar organizers match up local food buyers and suppliers.
Feed Communities Local Food Now is hosted by the Food Systems Program at West Central Missouri Community Action Agency in collaboration with community development corporation New Growth and the region’s annual Farm to Fork Summit.
Webinar moderator Kyle Vickers, host of the KMOS-TV program Show Me Ag, will visit with the following speakers about local food purchasing and include your questions.
CEO of Osage Prairie YMCA (Nevada, MO)
Osage Prairie YMCA is part of a team of community organizations in Nevada and Vernon County preparing and delivering grab-and-go meals for children facing hunger due to Covid-19 Crisis school closings. The YMCA is also tapping new funding opportunities to expand services and meet growing crisis-related food needs.
“We will have capacity to do more, and that would be extremely big for us in reaching more kids,” Snyder said. “This growing season would be a great opportunity for our group to use some of that local produce.”
Sales and Production Director, Kansas City Food Hub
The Kansas City Food Hub is a farmer-owned and operated cooperative of 19 west central Missouri and eastern Kansas produce growers that combine products and sell to commercial accounts in the metropolitan area.
“Our regular cafeteria and restaurant accounts have plummeted in the past month,” Ellingsworth said. “Conversely, we saw a surge in demand from individual households, so we pulled together our Neighborhood Farm Share concept. We are currently dropping these boxes to self-organized groups of ten or more. We are actively recruiting additional neighborhoods to build up from the 200 weekly shares we currently provide. We will need more farmers, as well!”
Farm to Institution Project Coordinator, Missouri Farm to School
The Missouri Farm to School (FTS) program connects farmers with school cafeterias and other institutions to get more fresh, high-quality, locally grown food into these meal settings. Ms. Fahrmeier will discuss details of local food purchasing, including logistics and regulations.
Fahrmeier will also introduce the Missouri Food Finder, a new tool for finding and connecting with area farms. “Now more than ever producers and growers have to learn to be more market savvy and step out of their comfort zone,” she said. “We hope this tool can be a good start in helping to sustain that.”
Food Systems Program Director, West Central Missouri Community Action Agency
The Food Systems Program provides technical and market development support to west central Missouri producers and the supply chain partners they need to meet wholesale opportunities in the greater Kansas City area. Serving this market is one way to build rural businesses and economic resilience.
“Our food value chain coordinator can help connect local food buyers and suppliers,” Nixon said. The program also supports new and beginning farmers as they grow into the wholesale business. “Through this crisis, new buyers and opportunities could emerge,” she said. “A farmer might learn about demand they could meet for a short-term wholesale crop like radishes in the spring,” she said.
Check out these resources for guidance on local foods in school and summer food service.
Local Foods in the Summer Food Service Program (USDA)
Missouri Farm to School Guide for School Food Nutrition Professionals
Find food marketing regulations and other great information in the Missouri Grown Farmers’ Market Handbook