Healthy Communities Coalition began in 2002 as a prevention coalition, but in 2008 as the recession tightened its grip on our community, it became clear that we needed to do more to help our neighbors who were struggling to get enough to eat. In 2010 Healthy Communities Coalition began strategically working toward improving our local food system. After a decade of service, our connections around food – our local farmers, school partners, and pantry visitors – have become our family.
Currently, Healthy Communities Coalition manages three food pantries throughout Lyon County serving nearly 3,600 people and distributing over 100,000 pounds of food each month. In partnership with Lyon County school district, we facilitate a thriving year-round school garden program at 6 elementary and middle schools. We host a farmers market during the summer months to create connections between local farmers and community members. Last year, we dedicated the first community garden in Lyon County, the Dayton Solidarity Garden. It is our hope that the Garden will serve not only as a focal point for local food and a venue to learn about agriculture, but also as a supportive, nurturing space where members of the community feel welcome and accepted.
Although we have undertaken many activities to improve food security and sustainability in our region, it’s time to do more. That’s why we are working to improve our food system for rural Nevadans. The challenges faced by our neighbors necessitate that we continue to find new solutions to increase food access. Together, area farmers, the school district, agencies, partner non-profits, businesses and volunteers are working to strengthen our local food system to create economic opportunities for farmers and food entrepreneurs; expand access to healthy, affordable food for local residents; and meet growing demand for healthy, local food. Food is an important part of culture and identity, and we strive to provide nourishment, but also a place to belong and grow.
Visit Community Roots Garden Center, our non-profit nursery that benefits our food hub programs.
Elements of the Healthy Food Hub in the Lyon region:
USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan comments on the Healthy Food Hub developing in the Lyon region: