Communities generate a FEAST of ideas
Community FEAST events, while not a traditional form of research, are rapidly gaining momentum as a fast, effective way to bring communities together to discuss local food-related issues and develop practical solutions.
FEAST stands for Food Education Agriculture Solutions Together, and a typical one-day FEAST workshop in Lebanon in early 2010—in which 50 community members engaged in an informed, facilitated discussion about local food, education and agriculture—shows why.
The gathering resulted in immediate benefits. For instance, a school superintendent who was buying food from one local farmer decided within days to begin buying from four additional farms. In addition, area schools began donating leftovers to a local soup kitchen, which was then able to serve an additional meal each week.
“It is amazing what has happened because of these community organizing discussions,” said Sharon Thornberry, community resource developer for the Oregon Food Bank. “In a single day, we’re able to start conversations and build relationships that lead to really exciting solutions.”
To learn more or schedule a FEAST workshop in your area, contact Thornberry at the Oregon Food Bank, (503) 282-0555.