Food System Development

“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

George Bernard Shaw

High Desert, not Food Desert

What if our food desert wasn’t a food desert? What if food insecurity could be alleviated locally? What if residents, including low-income residents, had a hand in a local food system that was designed to serve THEM, instead of corporations? What if, in rural Nevada, people had access to fresh, local food, and what if that food was grown on diverse, small farms the way it used to be before factory farms and monoculture and the “get big or get out” mentality promoted by current government policy?

Our vision is for a local food system based on participatory agriculture that empowers people to play an active role in where their food comes from. Neighbors helping neighbors by organizing locally and acting cooperatively to provide for food needs in their own community. This system provides education, mentorship, and support for people who wish to grow food, raise livestock, or create cottage food products. It creates a co-op for people to utilize SNAP benefits in rural areas to purchase affordable, healthy food as it becomes available, directly from their neighbors who grow it. It provides economic possibilities for small farmers, market gardeners, and orchardists by creating an outlet for their products, reducing waste through food rescue, and allowing them to grow in response to local demand.

Our project takes action at local and state levels of government to streamline and simplify processes that present an undue burden to small producers, while still upholding food safety principles. We will educate participants about environmental impacts and sustainability to help improve future yields and ensure a supply of nutritious food to 2050 and beyond.

We have already begun to lay the groundwork for this ambitious project through our existing school and community gardens, farmers market, and food pantries. We are networking with local farmers to recruit them to act as mentors. Together, we can make a food system for us, our neighbors, our family.

Contact cortney@hcclsc.org to become part of the movement towards local food in rural Nevada.

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