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Alaska Food Policy Council:
Summer 2019 Newsletter

Fires... vetoes... markets... local produce... events... Summer is fully underway and what an eventful season it has already been!  Take a look through this quarter's newsletter for a glimpse of food systems happenings from around the state.  

Love the Alaska Food Policy Council and want to support our work?  Please consider making a donation or becoming a proud supporting member by clicking the link below:
Become a Supporting Member of AFPC!
The Alaska Food Policy Council is proud to once again partner with the Anchorage Mayor's Office to award a second round of Local Food Mini-Grants for projects focused on increasing local food production and access in the Municipality of Anchorage.  The response to the call for proposals was fantastic, with 16 strong applications -- of which 12 were funded.  Congratulations to the awardee groups and individuals from:
  • RurAL CAP
  • Mt. View Community Center for Boys and Girls Club
  • Girdwood Community Garden Project
  • First Congregational Church 
  • Chanshtnu Muldoon Community Food Forest Project
  • Campbell STEM Elementary School
  • Woodland Park Boys and Girls Club
  • Bayshore Elementary School
  • Susitna Elementary School
  • Alaska Seeds of Change
  • Alaska Mental Health Consumer Web
  • Independent citizens who will hold a gardening workshop at a local farmers market. 

Projects range from school gardens, to community gardens, to food-focused, community-engaged educational programming. 

This year is a little different, in that awardees are asked to share project updates via social media posts -- so stay tuned for shares through the AFPC Facebook page!  Given the popularity of the grant program and the positive outcomes of the awarded projects, AFPC is keen to explore opportunities to expand the number, geographical distribution, and size of the awards.  If you would like to explore ways to partner with AFPC in future mini-grant initiatives, please contact AFPC board member Liz H. Snyder at ehodges4@alaska.edu!


We are LOVING Alaska Farmland Trust's Infographics explaining highlights from the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture!

Alaska is up to 990 farms- a 29.9% increase from 2012 - the largest percent increase in the country! Alaska is once again leading the nation in the percent of producers who are beginning farmers (have ten or less years of farming experience).
Concerned about veto impacts on statewide food security? Here's another chance to voice your opposition or support-

This week, July 15-19, the House Finance committee will be taking public comment (limited to 2 minutes) on HB 2001, a bill that will make appropriations from the earnings reserve and determine the PFD for 2019. Legislators are interested in also restoring the $444 million in funds that were cut by the governor in this appropriation bill. 

Public testimony opportunities are between 2-7 pm with public comments limited to 2 minutes. Sign up to testify by 6:30 pm:

  • Anchorage - Monday, July 15, Anchorage LIO: 1500 W Benson Blvd
  • Mat-Su - Tuesday, July 16, Wasilla LIO: 600 E Railroad Ave
  • Fairbanks - Wednesday, July 17, Fairbanks LIO: 1292 Sadler Way
  • Juneau - Thursday and Friday, July 18-19 (time TBD), State Capitol, Adams room


If you can't show up, you can call in: 

  • From Anchorage: 563-9085
  • From Juneau: 586-9085
  • Everywhere else: 1-844-586-9085

If you can't show up or call in, you can emailhousefinance@akleg.gov

 
Summer Meals for Alaska Children
 
Summer can be a precarious time for kids who participate in school meal programs but this year Alaska has seen a 17% increase in summer meal programs across the state; even better than that are the wide variety of options for children including libraries, farmer’s markets, and city parks in addition to traditional school district sponsors. 

This year Children’s Lunchbox debuted a lunch program at the downtown Anchorage Market each weekend with celebrity volunteers including local politicians, Disney princesses and Marvel characters.  The market also provides activities for children such as painting and sidewalk chalk projects.   Also new this summer in the Matsu Valley is a mobile route sponsored by Kids Kupboard.  Using an RV purchased with grant funds, the program is able to provide meals to areas in Willow and Houston.  By furthering the reach of these meal programs, more kids across Alaska are accessing healthy meals when school is out of session.
 
To find summer feeding sites in your community beginning in May, text “Food” to 877-877, Alaska 211 at www.alaska211.org, the USDA Summer Meal Site Finder at www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks.
 


CALL TO ACTION: SUPPORT FOOD SECURITY FOR ALL

The Federal Summer Meals Act of 2019.

S. 1908/H.R. 2818, introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Murkowski (R-AK) and Representative Don Young (R-AK) and Rick Larsen (D-WA). These bills would: improve the area eligibility test by lowering it from 50 percent to 40 percent to allow more low-income communities to provide summer meals; allow nonprofit and local government agencies to provide meals year-round through the Summer Food Service Program; allow all sites to serve three meals; and provide grant funding to support efforts to reach underserved areas. S. 1908 includes an additional provision to support meal service in disaster situations.
Sign on here.

FRAC is facilitating a group of national organizations to identify opportunities to address summer hunger in a variety of circumstances and to ensure that children — even in hard to reach areas — have access to summer nutrition.

Visit FRAC's Legislative Action Center to stay up-to-date on Child Nutrition Reauthorization activities.

Statewide Alaska Farmers Market Listings
Learn more about National Farmers Market Week, August 4-10, 2019 here! Download resources and marketing materials
Alaska Food Policy Council will be eligible to accept Pick.Click.Give donations in 2020- until then, there are many great food security and agriculture non-profit organizations to support across the state!

Pick.Click.Give. is available to Alaskans who file for their Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) online.  Applicants may choose to contribute to one or more organizations in $25 increments, up to the entire amount of the dividend.

If you have already submitted your PFD application you can still add or change a pledge by following this link, and selecting the green ‘Add or change your Pick.Click.Give. donation’ button. 

Instructor: Jim Flott
 
Certificates of completion and ISA CEUs will be available.
 
Class Location: Rasmuson Hall 110 – 3416 Seawolf Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508
 
Submit Registration:
Mail or deliver completed registration (see Registration Form attached) and check to:
Alaska Community Forestry Council, 550 West 7th Avenue Suite 1450, Anchorage, AK 99501

Questions? Call Jim Renkert @ 269-8645 or contact communityforester@alaska.gov


July 31- Aug. 1

2nd Annual Tikahtnu Plants Symposium


– hosted by Southcentral Foundation, promotes indigenous knowledge with hands-on activities encouraging a holistic approach to wellness.

For more information, click here


Save the date: 
 

Join us at this year's Harvest Moon Local Food Festival Sept. 14, 2019, in Soldotna!


Vendor Information here!
Kenai Local Food Connection has organized and hosted Harvest Moon Local Food Week since 2013.  Our first all-day festival, held Sept. 15, 2018, in Soldotna Creek Park, drew over 2000 people of all ages and 30+ vendors and food trucks.  Happy vendors and festival-goers gave us rave reviews as well as valuable suggestions for improvement. This year’s festival will again feature live music, free kids’ activities, food demonstrations, the popular Fermentation Station and all sorts of Alaska Grown and Made in Alaska food products.  New this year: wandering performers, expanded seating for the mainstage and food demonstrations, more music and more food trucks!

Fourth Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition

Mystic Lake, MN
Early bird registration ends July 15
September 15-18
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