Southeast Alaska Fish and Farm to Schools Conference
The Southeast Alaska Fish and Farm to Schools Conference was the first regional opportunity focused on building connections between Alaska’s school systems and local food entrepreneurs. Advocates from across the state who are interested in bringing more local foods into our school system were invited to collaborate and connect with regional experts to strengthen fish and farm to school programming. Southeast Conference, the regional economic development organization, coordinated the conference in conjunction with the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, a diverse network of organizations working together on community sustainability in Southeast Alaska. Alana Peterson, program director of the Sustainable Southeast Partnership, Haa Aani, LLC comments:
“Often we find that the barriers to achieving access to local, healthy foods can be overcome if we work together as a region to make this initiative a priority. By bringing all the key players together for a conference we are hoping to achieve just that.”
Fish and farm to school programming offers significant economic, environmental cultural and nutritional opportunities to our rural communities and region.
“Schools in southeast received more than $500,000 last year to buy Alaskan produced foods through the Nutritional Alaska Foods to Schools grant program.” Shelly Wright, Executive Director of Southeast Conference comments. “However, schools are often limited by what they can procure. There are untapped opportunities for, farmers, fishermen and small business in our region. We are eager to break down barriers and grow the opportunities for everyone.”