Over the past nine years, Locally Delicious has raised over $115,000 for Food for People, the local food bank, to contract with more than 30 local organic farmers with the goal of ensuring low-income community members have access to fresh, healthy, local food through the food bank.
Farmers, local government representatives and more than 50 members of the community joined Food for People and Locally Delicious to celebrate the Locally Delicious Food for People Farmer Fund’s 10th birthday on May 10. The celebration began with a feast of local produce, wines, cheeses and baked goods donated by Humboldt County producers. Before the main event, President of Locally Delicious Ann Anderson acknowledged fellow founding member Suzanne Simpson for her many years as an “Heirloom Tomato,” as Locally Delicious members designate themselves. Simpson was presented with an illustrated book about heirloom tomatoes.
Attendees then gathered to listen to, and ask questions of, a panel of local food system stakeholders — Leslie Castellano from Eureka City Council, Susan Ornelas, farmer and Arcata City Council member, Ben Kaplan-Good of Fields Forever Farm, 3rd District Supervisor Mike Wilson and Anne Holcomb, executive director of Food for People.The panel discussed the importance of the fund and the benefits of the fund to the community. The panel then answered questions from the audience, including a discussion of the need for an aggregation/distribution center for local produce in order for farmers to expand providing local produce to restaurants and institutions. Farmers also expressed interest in ensuring the local food system is a vehicle for addressing wider economic issues in Humboldt County, while helping the environment and equity.
It’s not too late to donate this year, according to a Locally Delicious press release. To donate, go to locally-delicious.org/food-for-people-fund or foodforpeople.org/locally-delicious or send donations to Locally Delicious, P.O. Box 309, Arcata, CA 95518. Designate donations for the Farmer Fund. The group’s goal is to reach $135,000 by end of this year.