Save the dates of Nov. 6-7 for the Alaska Food Festival and Conference

HOMER, Alaska (Aug. 5, 2020) — Save the dates of Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6-7, on your calendar as the 2020 Alaska Food Festival and Conference is going virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year the themes are food entrepreneurship and rural and Indigenous food systems.

Hosted by the Alaska Food Policy Council (AFPC), this fifth semi-annual event previously took place in Anchorage in 2014 and 2016, in Fairbanks in 2017 and Homer in 2019. This year, the conference was scheduled for Anchorage before going virtual.

In addition to the Alaska Food Policy Council, this event is co-sponsored by the Alaska Village Initiatives AgAlaska Program, FRESH (the Food Research, Enterprise, and Sustainability Hub of the North), and Alaska Pacific University.

The goals of the conference and festival are to:

  1. increase awareness of Alaska food issues among the general population;
  2. provide training, resources, and networking opportunities to increase involvement in local food issues by community members and decision makers; and
  3. increase connections and build community between the public, Alaska food businesses, NGOs, governmental entities, tribal entities, and others to support local economic development and innovative solutions.

Details for the event are still in the planning stage. But past conferences have included presentations on food systems in Alaska, food security/insecurity, traditional foods, farmers markets, agriculture in Alaska, fisheries, food policy, food waste reduction, and more. We also plan to hold a silent auction featuring food-related items from around the state.

In addition, the annual Alaska Food Hero Awards will be presented, and nominations are accepted at this link until Oct. 5, https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeCIEBs4JK_0b8zThL-hzUEeSbEhG8unwSqz6e_eKT34YzBEw/viewform.

People and organizations interested in presenting about Alaska food topics can submit presentation abstracts by Oct. 5 to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RH5RQYN. If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, you can go to this link for more details about our sponsorship tiers, https://www.akfoodpolicycouncil.org/2020-sponsors.

Registration costs $40-$150, depending on the package, and you can register at this link, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-alaska-food-festival-conference-tickets-113138002812. You also can purchase and Alaska Food Policy Council membership at that link.

The keynote speakers will be announced in August, and a tentative conference agenda will be available in October. More details about the conference are available at this link, https://www.akfoodpolicycouncil.org/2020-festival-conference.

For more information about the conference, contact Robbi Mixon at (907) 235-4068, Ext. 23, or director@alaskafoodpolicycouncil.org.

###

  • The Alaska Food Policy Council (https://www.akfoodpolicycouncil.org/) is a nonprofit organization whose diverse membership works to engage Alaskans to make positive changes for the state’s food system, and to create a healthier, more prosperous and more secure future for all.
  • Alaska Village Initiatives (https://akvillage.com/) is a non-profit membership-based company dedicated to improving the well-being of rural Alaska communities, families, and individuals. AgAlaska (https://agalaska.net/) affords rural villages support and resources needed to begin community gardening farming and ranching. Information and links provide current grant opportunities, best garden practices, and resource links to government and non-government agencies.
  • FRESH (Food Research, Enterprise, and Sustainability Hub of the North (https://www.freshnorth.org/) works to catalyze the modern food landscape of tomorrow by honoring the living traditions of yesterday and harnessing the innovative spirit of today’s Circumpolar North.
  • Alaska Pacific University (https://www.alaskapacific.edu/) is a small liberal arts college located in Anchorage, Alaska, that emphasizes experiential and active learning. APU, along with the University of Alaska Anchorage, is home to FRESH.

Sitka Kitch to host vegetarian Indian food buffet dinner and silent auction fundraiser on March 18

Join us for a special fundraising buffet dinner and silent auction for the Sitka Kitch from 5:30-8 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, at Beak Restaurant.

This event will feature a variety of vegetarian Indian dishes cooked by Beak chef/owner Renée Jakaitis Trafton and her crew. In addition to the dinner, there will be a silent auction, door prizes, fun and games. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the silent auction closes at 7:30 p.m.

Renée’s tentative menu (subject to change due to ingredient availability) includes:

  • Samosas, filled with potato, peas, onion. Tamarind dipping sauce, mango or rhubarb chutney
  • Naan
  • Spiced basmati rice, cinnamon, cardamon, clove
  • Saag paneer, spinach, paneer
  • Red lentil daal
  • Chana masala, chickpeas

Seating is limited for this event, so register early. The cost is $40 per person, and the registration deadline is 11:30 p.m. on Monday, March 16. All proceeds benefit the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen, which provides cooking and food preservation classes to Sitka residents. It also provides kitchen rentals on a limited basis for food businesses.

You can reserve your spot at this event with PayPal or a credit/debit card by going to our online registration page, http://sitkakitch.eventsmart.com, and clicking on the event title and following the instructions from there. If you prefer to use cash or check to reserve your spot, please call Chandler or Clarice at Sitka Conservation Society (747-7509) or email chandler@sitkawild.org.

• Sitka Local Foods Network to host Harvest Fest Fundraiser on Thursday, Oct. 23

SLFNHarvestFestFundraiser2014Turnips2LowRez

Help celebrate Food Day by joining the Sitka Local Foods Network as it hosts its inaugural Harvest Fest Fundraiser from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23, at the Del Shirley Room upstairs in Allen Hall on the Sheldon Jackson Campus.

This event will feature a silent auction for a variety of local food- and garden-related items and services, including:

  • An apple tree and planting/pruning service,
  • Canning lessons,
  • 4-6 hours of work in your garden,
  • Flats of “Finn Island Farm” vegetable starts for 2015,
  • Customized local foods packages,
  • Chef services,
  • Wine-making supplies/materials/lesson,
  • Edible landscaping consultation,
  • Home-made desserts and other homegrown goodies,
  • Compost,
  • Alaska gardening books, and
  • A tour of and overnight stay at Finn Island Farm for 1-2 people, includes transportation, gourmet dinner and breakfast.

In addition, the Lexicon of Sustainability photos will be on display, we will give a short update on the state of local food in Sitka, there will be live music, light refreshments featuring local food will be served, and we will pour locally brewed beer (for those age 21 and older) and root beer from Baranof Island Brewing Company. This is a family oriented event, and there is a suggested donation of $5.

“The Sitka Local Foods Network board is excited to share the Lexicon of Sustainability photos again with the Sitka community in the context with our Harvest Fest Fundraiser,” said Lisa Sadleir-Hart, president of the Sitka Local Foods Network board of directors. “We’ve received a delicious array of donations from board members and friends for food-focused items and services for a silent auction, plus we will serve light refreshments focused on locally grown foods and hear about the state of Sitka’s foodscape. It’ll be a festive, informative event.”

The Sitka Local Foods Network is a nonprofit organization that promotes and encourages the use of locally grown, harvested and produced foods in Sitka and Southeast Alaska. Money raised at this fundraiser will support the Sitka Farmers Market, community gardens, a community greenhouse, sustainable uses of traditional subsistence foods and education for Sitka gardeners.

For more information, contact the Sitka Local Foods Network at sitkalocalfoodsnetwork@gmail.org.