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Wallace Center National Good Food Network Announces Regional Lead Teams

ARLINGTON, Virginia (August 14, 2008) – The Wallace Center at Winrock International announces its first round of grant awards to regional efforts across the United States involved in moving good food – healthy, green, fair, affordable food – beyond the direct-to-consumer realm into larger-scale, wholesale channels.

The eight recipients will serve as initial Regional Lead Teams for the National Good Food Network, a Wallace Center initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, designed to connect and support efforts to overcome basic barriers in moving more good food to more people. Those barriers include a lack of distribution options for farmers, the absence of grocery stores in many urban and rural areas and the lack of appropriate scaled food processing facilities for meats, dairy and vegetables.

The Wallace Center selected the eight Regional Lead Teams from a field of 31 proposals across 21 states. Teams represent a variety of geographic areas and bring a range of experience, audiences and operational scale to the table. They are:

  • Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, Salinas, CA
  • American Friends Service Committee, Albuquerque, NM
  • Appalachian Sustainable Development, Abingdon, VA
  • Center for Food and Justice at Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
  • Farm to Table / Southwest Marketing Network, Santa Fe, NM
  • Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Belchertown, MA
  • Sustainable Food Lab at The Sustainability Institute, Hartland, VT
  • Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Ames, IA

“Innovative approaches are emerging all across the country for meeting the national need and strong demand for healthy, green, fair, affordable food,” says John Fisk, Director of the Wallace Center. “The National Good Food Network will help entrepreneurs and community leaders learn from and work with each other as they build new business models, market infrastructure and economic development tools.”

Under the one-year Wallace Center grant, each team will pursue specific, regional approaches to the work of building a new kind of food supply chain, one that incorporates -- all the way from field to plate -- stewardship of the environment, healthy food, fair labor practices, equal access and strong local economies. 

The teams will establish regional steering committees to build partnerships across non-profit and for-profit sectors, and cultivate learning networks that fit their regional needs and nuances.

A representative from each Regional Lead Team will also join the National Good Food Network Advisory Council, a 15-member group that includes seasoned practitioners from across the country.

The work of building a new good food system involves a range of issues and opportunities. Among those the Regional Lead Teams will address are: development of successful social ventures; solutions for market infrastructure challenges, such as processing and distribution; reducing diet-related disease among youth and underserved communities; increasing access to good food across the board; and educating economic development agencies about job and business outcomes.

“In each of these areas, Regional Lead Teams will benefit from the experience and guidance of the Advisory Council—experts in their fields,” says Marty Gerencer, Manager of the National Good Food Network.  “Together, they will provide a solid base of practical experience and learning to share across the country.”

 
 
General Inquiries
Marty Gerencer, Manager, National Good Food Network:
marty@morsemarketingconnections.com, 231.638.2981
 
 
Media Inquiries
Cari Beth Head, Program Assistant:
cbhead@winrock.org, 703.525.9430 ext 674

 

Download this press release as a PDF

 

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Wallace Center at Winrock International supports entrepreneurs and communities as they build a new, 21st century food system that is healthier for people, the environment, and the economy. The Center builds and strengthens links in the emerging chain of businesses and civic efforts focused on making good food – healthy, green, fair, affordable food – an everyday reality in every community. Winrock International is a nonprofit organization, with main offices in Little Rock, AR and Arlington, VA, which works with people in the United States and around the world to increase economic opportunity, sustain natural resources, and protect the environment.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 to “help people help themselves.” Specifically, the organization supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Please refer to wkkf.org for more information.

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