Telluride Foundation: Launching Local Food Initiative

Due to the increased interest in a local food economy and the need to improve access for low income residents to healthy food, the Telluride Foundation is launching a new Local Food Initiative targeting the San Miguel watershed communities of Norwood, Naturita, Nucla, Redvale, Paradox, Bedrock, and Telluride. Grants from the Colorado Health Foundation and the Goldman Family Charitable Foundation make the initiative possible.

Canadian local food produce is seen on display at Foodshare Monday, September 16, 2013 in Toronto. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne visited Foodshare Toronto to announce a $30 million dollar investment in local food projects over the next three years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Food from local farmers not only taste great, it is also healthier and creates a stronger local economy. Locally sourced food, which produces more local spending, jobs, and more nutritious food, is emerging as great opportunity for the region as evidenced by restaurant menus in Telluride, the popularity of Farmers Markets, the new Fresh Food Hub, and the emergence of artisan bakeries in Norwood.

The food we buy in grocery stores travels an average 1,300 miles from the farm to our tables. Most farmers and ranchers sell to collection points, such as grain and produce terminals or stockyards. The terminal or stockyard sells to processing companies, which process and package the products we buy in the grocery store. However, connecting local markets and tapping into the existing supply created by local farms and ranches will build a stronger local economy and provide fresher, more nutrient rich foods to our region.

“The region has a rich history and culture of farming, including good soil and available land and water,” said Paul Major, President & CEO of the Telluride Foundation. “We also have viable markets and the potential to promote farm to grocery, school, and restaurant/table opportunities.”

The Telluride Foundation hopes to create a strong local food system to boost the overall health and economies of the region by doing the following: 1) supporting small local producers; 2) supporting organizations, producers and farmers focusing on providing healthy, nutritious food to communities and low-income populations; and 3) increasing local food security by encouraging local farming and educating the community about the benefits of supporting their local agricultural economy.

“The Local Food Initiative is working to facilitate cooperation between food advocate groups, producers, and the local food market,” said Leila Seraphin, one of the Initiative coordinators. “Our goal is to provide improved access to quality local food in our communities.”

To bring these groups together, on February 16, 10 a.m. – noon at the Livery in Norwood, the Local Food Initiative is hosting a roundtable discussion with key organizations working to promote access to nutritious food.

The roundtable will be facilitated by Tri-County Health Network and is intended to identify gaps in access to nutritious food, potential collaborations and partnerships, and strategies for better connecting fresh local food to low-income individuals.

Anyone interested in joining the conversation, please contact Matt Teague at vista@telleridefoundation.org for more information or to RSVP.

More about the Telluride Foundation:

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation, and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making.

For more information on the Telluride Foundation, visit www.telluridefoundation.org.

 

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