Draft header for FFC newsletter

www.wvhub.org

In This Issue
Building a Business in Specialty Foods: Webinar Series
Opportunity for Regional Partnership on School Gardens Funding
WV Food Council Update
WV Food & Farm Coalition Steering Committee

Allen Arnold
Jim Cooper
Mary Hunt-Lieving
Marten Jenkins
Leslie Shaller
Kent Spellman
 
 
WV Food & Farm Coalition Staff
 
Savanna Lyons
Program Manager

Collaborating
 Hub Staff

 Kent Spellman
Hub Executive Director

Herk Connor
Hub Program Coordinator


The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is an initiative of the West Virginia Community Development Hub with funding from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.  The Coalition addresses the challenge of developing local food systems across West Virginia, with the goal of providing healthy, locally-produced food to all citizens, especially low income families and other vulnerable groups. 
 
The West Virginia Community
Development Hub
is a statewide non-profit organization with the mission of engaging communities and providers in an intentional, aligned and continuous system of community development.
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 Greetings!
 
We are pleased to officially launch the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, a network linking local foods stakeholders throughout the great state of West Virginia.  This Coalition is not exactly new: we are a new stage in the evolution of a Local Food Coalition and Food Council work group that has been meeting for over a year with help from the Hub.  Now the Coalition has its own office, a logo and evolving web presence, a speedily expanding network of stakeholders and a program manager (Savanna Lyons) in place to help pull all the threads together.  We invite you to stop by our office in Beckley -- see contact information at the bottom of this email.

In this email you'll find more information about the mission of the WVF&FC, as well as several announcements relevant to local food projects in WV.

What is the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition?

The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is an initiative of the West Virginia Community Development Hub with funding from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and office facilities provided by the One Foundation.  The Coalition addresses the challenge of developing local food systems across West Virginia, with the goal of providing healthy, locally-produced food to all citizens, especially low income families and other vulnerable groups.  We support and collaborate with many different people, businesses and organizations who deal with food, whether they are farmers, processors, distributors,  agencies, nonprofits, aspiring growers, extension agents, farmers markets, restaurants, youth groups, or institutions that feed people.  By helping these entities to connect with and learn from one another on the regional and state level, we are building a solid network of food producers and consumers who have the power to profoundly grow West Virginia's food and farm economy while ensuring that all West Virginians have access to farm-fresh, healthy, delicious local food.
 
The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is an informal organization guided by a steering committee (see left sidebar) of groups involved in building West Virginia's food systems, both from inside and outside of West Virginia.  It has no formal board or officers.  The role of the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition office is primarily as a connector, aligner, and convener of the broader network of groups and individuals concerned with food and food access in West Virginia - not to control or supplant efforts already being made, but to help the effort-makers in honing, resourcing and achieving their efforts.

Our website is set to launch shortly -- stay tuned.
Building a Business in Specialty Foods:
Webinar Series

Mark your calendars for the eXtension Entrepreneurship webinar series on specialty food businesses.  Webinars air monthly on the second Thursday of every month at 2:00pm (ET).  
Newcomers to online learning are welcome!  No pre-registration is required and there is no fee to participate.
 
On October 14 the webinar will focus on the importance of branding and will feature specialty food business owners Judith Moore of the Charleston Cookie Company and Robin Rhea of Slather Sauce.

The November 11 webinar will conclude this series with a look at Culinary Tourism, an emerging niche that combines agriculture, specialty food and tourism. This presentation will feature a panel of Extension specialists working on Culinary Tourism initiatives.

10 minutes prior to the start time simply go the Adobe Connect Pro meeting room at http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/ecop/. You will be presented with a login screen that has an "Enter as Guest"
option. Enter your full name then click "Enter Room" to join the conference. You will be able to hear the audio directly from your computer's speakers

Opportunity for Regional Partnership on Federal Funding for School Garden Projects

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) have announced the opportunity for public and not-for-profit organizations to submit applications for a Peoples Garden School Pilot Program grant competition. FNS has set aside $1 million for this pilot program. One grantee will be selected to enter into a cooperative agreement for the purposes of developing and running community gardens at eligible high-poverty schools; teaching students involved in the gardens about agriculture production practices, diet, and nutrition; contributing produce to supplement food provided at eligible schools, student households, local food banks, or senior center nutrition programs; and conducting an evaluation of funded projects to learn more about the impacts of school gardens.

This program favors proposals for regional and multi-state projects.  If you are interested in partnering on a proposal with other entities in our region, please contact Savanna at s.lyons@wvhub.org


RFP details can be accessed at:
http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns/outreach/grants/garden.htm.  Grant deadline is November 8, 2010.

The WV Food Council: A Status Update

Since June of 2009, the West Virginia Community Development Hub and a long list of partners have been involved in discussions about statewide collaboration to build local food systems.  One of the results of this collaborative work was a draft white paper proposing a codified West Virginia Food Council. 

As you may have read in the last Hubbub newsletter, Savanna Lyons and Herk Connor presented the codified Food Council concept to the Joint Committee on Agriculture and Agribusiness (an interim committee of the West Virginia legislature) on September 15, 2010.


It's time to take the next step.  Parties interested in supporting and discussing a codified food council will reconvene in November at a date and location to be announced shortly.  If you have not been involved in our Food Council discussions and would like to join us, contact Savanna.