Blue Mountain Action Council announced the award of a USDA Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) Grant of nearly $134,000 to study the feasibility of establishing a food hub in Walla Walla in late September of 2018. Since then, the LFPP team has been busy! Identifying needs, roles and tasks, determining the potential service area for the Food Hub, developing communication and outreach tools, studying existing food hub models, conducting interviews and much more. Currently, the project is seeking input from food producers in the region via a survey that was sent out by e-mail in December. Priority completion date for the survey is January 25th 2019. Click HERE to take the survey.
On February 12, 2019, a Food Producers Workshop is being held to introduce the LFPP, history and vision; hear from existing food hubs and processing centers about how they developed and lessons learned; share the initial results of the food producers survey and explore scenarios for the Walla Walla food hub.
The workshop will take place at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds Community Center from 9A to 3P and lunch will be provided. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Please register online at slcceep.wufoo.com/forms/walla-walla-food-producers-workshop-registration/ or by calling (509)524-5218. A complimentary networking lunch, raffles throughout the event and a visual history of food production in the Valley are also featured. Take advantage of this great opportunity to discover all the ways a food hub can benefit our community, provide input and meet with colleagues and peers.
The LFPP Grant is a stepping-stone to stakeholders’ ultimate goal of developing the infrastructure that will provide better options for aggregation, storage, processing and distribution of local food products. This has the potential to invigorate small farms and businesses, create jobs and keep dollars circulating in our regional community. With BMAC/BMAC Food Bank as the lead agency, the support of the Walla Walla Food System Coalition and in partnership with ten regional organizations, the vision of building a more vibrant local food distribution system is within reach.