Despite the Midwest being an agricultural region, in rural areas like the Indiana Uplands, consumers often struggle to access local food, and farmers struggle to get their food into the hands of consumers, even when they are just miles apart.
We set forth a goal to create and implement a local food system value chain advancement plan to increase the amount of food produced and increase the consumption of locally grown food in the Uplands region. The value chain encompasses production, aggregation, processing, distribution, and consumption, and we are addressing all five with our community partners through community gardens, a farm-to-health initiative, food insecurity and provisioning studies, farmers’ market promotional planning, and a newly launched Indiana Uplands Food Network.
At the start of the pandemic, the Indiana Uplands Food Network created a series of informative webinars to help local producers revise their distribution plans to ensure minimal disruption to the local food supply chain. Through a partnership with the Media School, a new podcast entitled Growing in Place covers important local food issues and resource information during the crisis.