By Kassie Munro, Program Manager
Solano County Farmbudsman Sarah Hawkins and Kaiser Vallejo Nutritional Services Manager John Healy, both Alliance members, connect during the February meeting. Kaiser Vallejo is the first healthcare organization in Solano that has started sourcing consistently from small farms in the county.
The Solano Local Food System Alliance held its first quarterly meeting of 2020 at the beginning of February to continue its collaborative effort to foster a strong local food system within the county.
At the February meeting, Alliance members began by reflecting on insights gathered during the October listening sessions, including the nuanced importance of building community health and community wealth, and the strong interest around developing robust farm-to-school programs.
The meeting included a discussion on climate change and agriculture lead by Wendy Rash and an in-depth review of fees and regulations that farmers face to sell their food at different venues compiled by Jahniah McGill and Priscilla Yeaney. A deeper conversation developed around policy and the actions needed to bring about meaningful change that would help our farmers thrive.
The Alliance received updates from the Sustainable Solano team on the recently awarded CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant that is supporting the development of a number of key initiatives. Those include farm-to-institutional customer sales, public education on the importance of eating locally and the abundance of produce grown in Solano County, including cooking classes across the county, and the development of the first Bounty of the County event slated for August 29.
You can find more details in the meeting minutes here.