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Posts Tagged ‘Sitka Food Co-Op’

14-09-17_building-food-security-in-ak_exec-summary-recommendations_Page_01

The release of a new report, “Building Food Security in Alaska,” was one of the highlights of the recent Alaska Food Festival and Conference (Nov. 7-9 at the University of Alaska Lucy Anchorage Cuddy Center). This is one of the first comprehensive statewide food security reports compiled for Alaska.

The report was written by Ken Meter and Megan Phillips Goldenberg of the Crossroads Resource Center in Minneapolis, which has done six in-depth statewide food assessments over the past five years and 14 statewide food assessments overall. The report was commissioned by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, with collaboration from the Alaska Food Policy Council.

The Crossroads Resource Center website provides this summary of the report:

Like most other states, Alaska imports about 95 percent of the food it purchases. Yet this state is more distant from prevailing food production regions than other states. Alaskans feel a special sense of vulnerability. Despite a rich history in dairy and cattle production, most of these foods are now imported. Much of the arable farmland has been paved over by development. Moreover, Alaskans who wish to purchase some of the $3 billion of seafood harvested from its ocean waters typically have no choice but to buy through Seattle vendors.

Still, farms produce a rich variety of crops and livestock. Direct sales from farmers to household consumers run at 13 times the national average, amounting to one of every six dollars farmers earn selling food to humans. Lettuce, peppers, and cucumbers are available year-round from indoor farms. Chickens are grown inside greenhouses that rely upon surplus heat from nearby buildings.

In no other state is harvesting wild foods as important. Subsistence and personal use hunters bring in an estimated $900 million worth of salmon, caribou, moose, foraged greens and berries, and other foods. Yet even here, hunters and gatherers face special challenges: a decline of hunting skills, weakening ice, changing migrations, and radioactive fallout.

Our study, written by Ken Meter and Megan Phillips Goldenberg, offers practical steps for building a more reliable food supply by growing, storing, and marketing more Alaska-grown food to Alaskans. Commissioned by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Copies of the full 180-page report and a shorter executive summary and recommendations are linked below. In addition, most of the presentations and panel discussions from the Alaska Food Festival and Conference can be found here. This link includes a keynote presentation by Sitka Local Foods Network Board President Lisa Sadleir-Hart about the experience of compiling the Sitka Community Food Assessment, plus Sitka residents Keith Nyitray of the Sitka Food Co-op and Gordon Blue of the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust participated in panel discussions about food cooperatives and community-based fisheries, respectively.

In addition, earlier this year two locally focussed food assessments were released. Copies of the Sitka Community Food Assessment Indicators Report (released in April 2014) and the Southeast Alaska Food System Assessment (released in February 2014) can be found in the Documents section of our website.

• Building Food Security in Alaska, Executive Summary and Recommendations, by Ken Meter and Megan Phillips Goldenberg (released November 2014)

• Building Food Security in Alaska, by Ken Meter and Megan Phillips Goldenberg (released November 2014)

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applooza_flyer

The Sitka Conservation Society is looking for donations of quart and pint (preferably the shorter, wide-mouth pints) canning jars for a 4-H project called Applooza.

During the project, participants in the Sitka 4-H club will harvest apples from the apple trees planted on public property (probably about Sept. 20) and will learn how to make apple sauce (probably about Oct. 10). The jars of applesauce then will be donated to the Swan Lake Senior Center and the Salvation Army.

To donate the canning jars and/or lids, bring them to the Sitka Conservation Society office at 201 Lincoln St., Suite 4 (upstairs above Old Harbor Books). For more information, contact Marjorie Hennessy or Mary Wood at 747-7509. Other partners in this project include the Sitka Local Foods Network, the Sitka Food Co-op, and Sitka Kitch.

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PatAndJimHansonOfHansonBakedGoods

SitkaFarmersMarketSign(This is part of a new series of “Meet your vendors” articles, where Sitka Local Foods Network Intern McLane Ritzel is writing features about our regular Sitka Farmers Market vendors.) 

When you walk into the Sitka Farmer’s Market, comforting aromas of freshly baked breads, scones, and cinnamon rolls overcome the senses. Near the entrance of ANB Hall, you can find the talented baker Pat Hanson of Hanson Baked Goods selling a beautiful selection of her baked wonders that are nearly impossible to resist. Trust me, I’ve tried.

PatHansonHansonBakedGoodsHanson bakes for the market as a public service, not for a profit. She uses organic ingredients whenever she can, and the only thing that is not organic is butter, which she is working on sourcing organically. Her baked goods are more expensive, because of her insistence on using organic eggs and other crucial organic products. Hanson fell into a passion for baking, because she loves to eat and loves organic food.

Born in Colorado, Hanson lived in the Centennial State until she was 25, when she moved to Canada with her husband at the time. For the past seven years, she has lived in Sitka with her second husband, Jim, whom she met here. Hanson used to work as a school psychologist in Washington and California, but is retired now. She now volunteers at the Sitka Food Co-op, a buyer’s club organization that thrives with increasing membership. Her husband works at Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Arrowhead Transfer.

PatHansonWithCinnamonRoll“You don’t go into the food industry to make money.” Hanson says that she likes food and likes to know what’s in it. “I won’t sell anything that I don’t think tastes good.”

Hanson sells organic breads, scones, and cinnamon rolls. She makes white sourdough, whole wheat, and whole grain, dark rye, and honey oat breads. If you’re looking for something on the sweeter side make sure to pick up one of her lemon blueberry, cranberry orange, or maple oat scones. And if you’re really lucky, you might be able to get a taste of her pumpkin spice scone with ginger chunks, the baker’s favorite.

When she’s not busy baking, Hanson enjoys reading, and was actually a literature major before becoming a teacher. She especially loves Arizonian author Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, now a popular STARZ original series.

Come out to this summer’s last Sitka Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, at ANB Hall (235 Katlian St.) to experience Pat Hanson’s delectable baked beauties.

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Plant starts in Sitka gardener Keith Nyitray's greenhouse

Plant starts in Sitka gardener Keith Nyitray’s greenhouse

The Sitka Local Foods Network and Sitka Food Co-op are teaming up to make garden starts available for Sitka food gardeners.

The plant starts will be available through the Sitka Local Foods Network on the next three monthly Sitka Food Co-op delivery days, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 21, May 19 and June 23, at the Sitka First Presbyterian Church (505 Sawmill Creek Road). The sale of these plant starts helps benefit the Sitka Local Foods Network, and we thank the Sitka Food Co-op for the opportunity to sell them on their delivery pick-up days. The plant starts are from Sitka gardeners and are of plants that do well in Sitka’s climate.

For more information, contact Keith Nyitray of the Sitka Food Co-op at sitkafoodcoop@gmail.com or go to http://sitkafoodcoop.org/

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SFC_2014AnnualMeet_Flyer

The Sitka Food Co-op will host its second annual membership meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Harrigan Centennial Hall. The meeting should last until about 11:30 a.m. and is open to all Sitka residents, regardless of co-op membership.

This meeting will give members and prospective members a chance to learn what the co-op is doing, where its going and how it plans to get there. There also will be elections for the board of directors (three seats are open, must be a co-op member to run), amendments to the by-laws, and there will be several new and important committees created. Co-op officers encourage people to attend and take part in building the co-op to the next level.

The Sitka Food Co-op was incorporated on Sept. 26, 2011, as a way to bring good food and community together. The purposes of the Sitka Food Co-op are to:

  • Create a community-based, member-owned buying service;
  • Make available wholesome natural and organic foods and products as inexpensively as possible;
  • Support and encourage local growing of fresh organic foods;
  • Purchase and purvey, whenever feasible, the goods or services of local and regional growers and producers; and
  • Serve as a center for activities and services which otherwise enrich the life of the community.

Please note that the Sitka Food Co-op is a separate organization than the Sitka Local Foods Network, even though we share some of the same goals.

To learn more about the Sitka Food Co-op and its annual meeting, email sitkafoodcoop@gmail.com or go to http://sitkafoodcoop.org/.

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SitkaFoodCoopVision

SitkaFoodCoopMedGreenLogoThe Sitka Food Co-op is looking to hire its first general manager. The general manager position will be part time, about 25-30 hours per month, with the job to start in March.

The main duties of the general manager include coordinating and overseeing co-op orders and deliveries, while meeting the goals and objectives of the co-op as established by the board of directors and members. Other tasks include working with the volunteer coordinator, monitoring the co-op’s ongoing operations (including technology, facilities and equipment), and communicating any problems or other concerns back to the board of directors. This will be the co-op’s first paid staff member.

The Sitka Food Co-op is a community-based, member-owned and operated cooperative that believes in “Nourishing the community by focusing on value while providing healthy foods and quality products.” The co-op currently serves more than 110 local households and businesses in Sitka, and is growing monthly. According to the co-op’s ad, “This is a wonderful opportunity for an energetic person committed to cooperative values and principles, likes to work from home, and is interested in ‘Bringing good food and community together.'”

Incorporated in September 2011, the purposes of the Sitka Food Co-op are to:

  1. Create a community-based, member-owned buying service;
  2. Make available wholesome natural and organic foods and products as inexpensively as possible;
  3. Support and encourage local growing of fresh organic foods;
  4. Purchase and purvey, whenever feasible, the goods or services of local and regional growers; and
  5. Serve as a center for activities and services which otherwise enrich the life of the community.

The position features a salary and benefits package based on experience, and incentive packages mutually agreed upon by the board and general manager. The job features a six-month trial period. Applicants should have a basic knowledge of Word, Excel, Quickbooks and Google Drive. The hiring of  new general manager is part of the Sitka Food Co-op’s new strategic plan adopted in November 2013.

To apply, please submit a letter of interest, resume and three employment references with full contact information to sitkafoodcoop@gmail.com. Applications also can be mailed to Sitka Food Co-op, P.O. Box 6407, Sitka, Alaska, 99835. A job description is posted below, as well on the co-op’s website. Applications are due by Jan. 15, 2014.

• Sitka Food Co-op general manager job description

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SitkaFoodCoopPlanningEvent

Are you interested in helping the Sitka Food Co-op develop its short- and long-term plans? Then come join us in an all-day planning workshop from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Fireside Room at the First Presbyterian Church, 505 Sawmill Creek Rd.

This workshop will be facilitated by Lisa Sadleir-Hart, board president of the Sitka Local Foods Network and project coordinator of the Sitka Community Food Assessment. Workshop participants will create an action plan for the co-op’s next five years, as well as developing the co-op’s vision and priorities.

Sitka Food Co-op Board Chair Keith Nyitray said, “Topics to be covered include whether we need a paid “general manager” position, whether and/or when to conduct a feasibility study about opening a retail store-front, starting home-deliveries, submitting paperwork to accept WIC, whether to switch incorporation to a non-profit status or not, moving toward establishing a two-tiered membership system, bulk buying and/or member equity sharing, and more.”

According to the Co-op’s website, the purposes of the Sitka Food Co-op are to:

  1. Create a community-based, member-owned buying service;
  2. Make available wholesome natural and organic foods and products as inexpensively as possible;
  3. Support and encourage local growing of fresh organic foods;
  4. Purchase and purvey, whenever feasible, the goods or services of local and regional growers and producers; and
  5. Serve as a center for activities and services which otherwise enrich the life of the community.

This workshop is open to everyone, including non-members, but please RSVP by Nov. 21 at sitkafoodcoop@gmail.com. There will be a potluck lunch, so please bring a dish to share. To learn more about the Sitka Food Co-op, go to http://sitkafoodcoop.org/.

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