The Alaska Food Policy Council wants organizations and individuals to please join its Alaska Food System Network map. It only takes a few minutes to set up your profile, then you can find connections.
You can join by clicking this link, https://www.akfoodpolicycouncil.org/regional-food-system-participate
Individuals and organizations may add their own profile to our growing network of state-wide food systems assets. Our mapping goal is to clearly show where our food knowledge, skill sets, and tangible resources (like storage and processing) exist across the state.
This could include work in the food supply chain, education, aid and access, production, harvest, knowledge bearing, and more. By joining the statewide network, with some context about how you work in food, you are contributing to a state-wide directory of assets that will be publicly shared.
Joining the network also helps the Alaska Food Policy Council know who is doing what in the state, so we can better connect people with appropriate resources when we receive an inquiry.
This is part of an 18-month USDA Regional Food System Partnership planning grant coordinated by the Alaska Food Policy Council. The next step will be part of an implementation grant to take the results of all of of the local/regional asset-mapping sessions and use them to build a 10-year state food security plan.
Source: Sitka Local Foods Network
In October 2020 the Alaska Food Policy Council was awarded a two-year planning grant, under the Regional Food System Partnership Program. 2020 is the first year the USDA has offered this grant program and it is part of the AMS.
The Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) Program “supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. The program focuses on strengthening the viability and resilience of regional food economies through collaboration and coordination.
The Alaska Food Policy’s goal is to create a healthier, more secure, and resilient Alaska by improving our food system through advocacy, education, and connection. Our project aims to connect localized food system organizations to create a statewide network of “regional nodes.” Through direct facilitation, each node will be guided through a series of network planning discussions, including one node-specific asset mapping workshop to identify unique capacities for local food systems, while revealing barriers and system deficiencies. Through regular statewide connection, communication, and collaboration regional nodes will collectively identify linkages and partnerships which can be leveraged to create a 10-year statewide food security action plan.
The core of this project is based in democratizing the food system through network weaving: building intentional relationships and cooperative structures that can create change in a complex adaptive system.
- Knowledge and learning are situated in a diversity of opinions (and places)
- Building the capacity to know is as critical as what is currently known
- Systems shifting networks focus on equity, inclusion, and nurturing values-based connections
OUR PROJECT FOCUSES ON PLACE-BASED WORKING “REGIONAL NODES” WITH STATEWIDE CONNECTIONS:
- all scopes from hyper-local to borough-level, considered
- utilizes a systems approach to food security planning
- illuminates how parts are all connected
- identifies and leverage all the assets in a community and beyond
- inventories of food systems capital- from financial and social, to infrastructure and governance
FOUR PHASES OF THE PROJECT:
- Over 50 node leaders participated in Virtual Session Series on Building and Nurturing Food System Networks (2021)
- GOAL: Improved connection, communication, and collaboration of food system organizations/ local food policy councils, statewide for collective action at improving Alaska’s food system
- Node Specific Mapping Workshops: These sessions provide opportunities for each regional “node” to map out priorities for a sustainable food future for Alaska. This is key to amplifying voices on the ground in the process. Each node will come away with some basic goals and action steps. These data (from all nodes) will be funneled into a recommendations report so that AFPC and partners can begin crafting the larger state-wide action plan based on this information (Spring 2022)
- GOAL: Identification of community food systems assets, barriers, and capacities (skills, social, political, natural, built, cultural, etc.).
- Statewide Network Questionaire & Map
- Utilizing the software SumApp survey, organizations and food groups will create a statewide asset map. It will show us who is connected to who and how which sectors are connected to other sectors, which communities are emerging as leaders in food systems work, and where the gaps are so that strategies can be formed to strengthen and enhance network relationships. (Launched March 2022 – ongoing)
- Creation of Initial Statewide 10-year Food Security Action Plan, informed by regional Alaskan nodes representing a wide range of locations and stakeholder groups, along with a review of existing assessments and reports
- GOAL: to identify ways of working between communities to build a more robust Alaskan food system. Jointly, the partnership will create a multi-stakeholder action plan to address food system deficiencies through collective action. Utilizing what was gleaned from workshops and surveys, facilitators, and the AFPC board, collaborators, partners, we will begin to create a statewide action plan (note: this will be an ongoing process and a living document). Points of action are determined through the process with the nodes, as well as the survey. This document will represent a food systems network that will be resilient and serve as a democratic way to bring forward the issues and priorities of Alaskans, relative to food policy. (Summer/ Autumn 2022)
Source: Alaska Food Policy Council
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