Last month, the social impact of local food got a boost when an article by our Vice President of Food and Farms, Amanda Oborne, was published in the Summer issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review.
In “Scaling Up Local Food,” Amanda shares some important lessons we’ve learned about helping Oregon’s small to mid-size farmers, ranchers, and fishermen connect with growing metro-area demand for their goods.
Those lessons are driving our exciting development project, the Redd on Salmon Street — a two-block campus in Portland’s Central Eastside designed to serve as a working hub for local food. There are already all kinds of good things cooking at the Redd:
We are thrilled to announce that FoodCorps, a volunteer-driven national farm to school organization, is joining the Redd as our newest tenant.
FoodCorps’ mission is to connect kids to healthy food in schools, address epidemic problems related to childhood obesity and improper nutrition, and grow the next generation of food system and school garden educators. Their work creates opportunities for children — regardless of class, race, or geography — to grow up to lead healthier and more productive lives. This school year, FoodCorps served more than 600 schools and 160,000 students across the country through the service of 205 AmeriCorps members. With programs in 17 states and the District of Columbia, the organization’s core staff will be moving their headquarters to the Redd campus.
Ecotrust has a long and committed history with farm to school, including conducting research published in a seminal paper known as “The Impact of Seven Cents,” which documented the economic development and job creation multipliers of local food sourcing by schools. We just unveiled a new website called Farm to School Counts created in collaboration with regional partners in the Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network. To continue to conversation, this October, during National Farm to School Month, we’ll host a public forum about the future of farm to school in Oregon on October 26, 2016.
Operating out of their new 18,000-square-foot facility in the Redd since January, anchor tenant B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery has been moving more than 4,000 pounds of local food into the city every day with their fleet of cargo trikes. About two dozen local food-related businesses are taking root at the Redd, using the space for processing, aggregation, distribution — and the occasional pop-up market.
By digging into big questions, engaging a wide range of partners, and designing new ways of doing business, Ecotrust is contributing to a better regional food system. Thank you for being our partner in this important work.