The challenges and opportunities to fully implement a local food system served as the subject for local leaders at the Pikes Peak Foodshed Forum hosted at UCCS Feb. 24.
The Sustainability, Wellness and Learning Initiative at UCCS and the Local Food Working Group of the Green Cities Coalition hosted more than 50 leaders and farmers to collaborate and prioritize the goals for implementing a local food system. Dan Hobbs of the Rocky Mountain Farmers’ Union, who created a framework at a 2010 forum, facilitated conversations for the groups to discuss market access and food access, literacy and policy.
“This event served as an opportunity to establish UCCS as a leader in implementing local food systems,” said Nanna Meyer, associate professor, Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and manager of the SWELL initiative. “We have worked hard to become a role model for food sustainability with our commitment to use local food and products within our campus dining facilities. Our goal is to make this an annual summit to bring these leaders together and take steps to implement these systems in the region.”
SWELL graduate students prepared breakfast and an Indian-inspired lunch for attendees with local ingredients in coordination with Dining and Hospitality Services.
UCCS has agreements with 23 farms, including the campus greenhouse, and 40 sponsors to provide food for Dining and Hospitality Services. SWELL serves approximately 150 meals each week through “Food Next Door” with ingredients harvested each week and operates The Flying Carrot, a mobile project that fosters food awareness with creative hands-on experiences.
Learn more at www.uccs.edu/swell.