NE INDIANA LOCAL FOOD NETWORK RECEIVES INDIANA GROWN AWARD – The Waynedale Information
The Northeast Indiana Local Food Network is one of five local food councils and networks across Indiana to receive a development grant from Indiana Grown, a program run by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture in partnership with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.
Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana Department of Agriculture, said the fellows will demonstrate Indiana Grown’s primary goals.
“This funding, provided by Indiana Grown, has the ability to expand the market for farmers and create new opportunities for community members to find locally grown food,” said Kettler. “I look forward to working with each of these councils to increase food processing, production and supply in their areas.”
Indiana Grown program director Heather Tallman said this grant program was made possible because of COVID-19, which caused the cancellation of many annual Indiana Grown events that allowed the program’s funds to be redistributed.
“Working with communities to improve access to the locally grown food market is one of my passions and something that makes the Indiana Grown program so good,” said Tallman. “I look forward to supporting these councils in their regional food systems to increase their reach and growth for years to come.”
Northeast Indiana Local Food Network is receiving $ 24,938 to expand market opportunities for local food producers in northeast Indiana by improving the organization’s capacity to consistently focus work on three key areas:
1) Building farm-school relationships across Northeast Indiana by working with Parkview Health and the Northeast Indiana Farm-to-School team to create Meet the Farmer promotions and tasting tests for the month’s harvest.
2) Expand regional engagements with small farms, processors, and local food companies throughout Northeast Indiana to include greater involvement in Northeast Indiana Local Food Network events and programs and participation in the online searchable food guide for Northeast Indiana and all of Indiana Grown and Indiana Grown for Schools Resource Guides. By hiring a local food coordinator for Northeast Indiana, the organization will expand its capacity to more engage and connect those who serve our local food economy.
3) Educate Northeast Indian consumers of the value of supporting our local farms and buying locally sourced and Indiana Grown products by running a targeted and consistent marketing campaign through social media and the e-newsletter and website Create organization.
According to Janet Katz, founding director of the Northeast Indiana Local Food Network, the Indiana Grown Fellowship will enable the organization “to expand our work to promote and connect our area’s local food economy. Interest in buying local food and supporting local farms is growing among families, schools and wholesale buyers in our region and we look forward to expanding these new market opportunities for the farmers and producers we serve. “
The new local food coordinator for Northeast Indiana will expand regional engagement from farm to table and support the growth of the local food economy in our region. This part-time position will strengthen the connections between the farms, markets, artisanal food producers, restaurants, organizations, and consumers who grow, produce, buy, sell, prepare, serve, and support local food in the 11-county Northeast Indiana region. Resumes are accepted until April 25, 2021. To learn more about this exciting new opportunity, visit www.neifood.org
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