Engaging Communities Through Issues Forums

Appendix 6: Post Forum Letter to al l Participants - 2021

Good afternoon, Forum Participants,

I want to thank you for taking the time to be part of the Could COVID-19 Disruption Happen Again? Working Collectively to Build Resilience across our Food and Farm Systems on the Eastern Shore held on April 13, 2021.

I’m pleased to tell you that those who participated in the Forum increased their understanding of the issues and willingness to act over the course of the day!

I’m also pleased to share that many of you indicated that you are taking some action as a result of your participation. If you didn’t h ave a chance to share what you intend to do, please take 3 minutes to let us know your plans . Click here to take the survey. The Strategic Doing™ Groups identified projects that they intend to work on collaboratively. Here is a listing of those groups and a short description of their project as they outlined it on the 13 th . If you are interested in getting involved with one of those groups, please connect with me and the Chief Doing Officer.

Issue/contact person

Brief Description/Outcome

Gaps in food availability and accessibility Chief Doing Officer: Laure Wolinski

To reduce food waste by building a regional system that enables harvesting of unused agricultural products and the use of these foods through value- added products, grower education, increase in growers certified for selling value-added, and offering of processed food.

NTAE Project Contact: Maria Pippidis

Food and Financial Insecurity Chief Doing Officer: Jerri Husch

Identify, develop, or enhance a regional list of food pantries and food resources for consumers and provide an easy way for them to access this information.

NTAE Project Contact: Maria Pippidis Mental and Physical Wellbeing Chief Doing Officer: Danielle Bauer Farace NTAE Project Contact: Maria Pippidis Unsupportive natural and built environments for food systems Chief Doing Officer: Madison Walter NTAE Project Contact: Maria Pippidis Instability of food production/harvest Chief Doing Officer: Shannon Dill

Increase awareness of farm mental health issues and access to services, create a resource list that can be distributed widely through social media, agriculture service providers, and directly to the farming population to assist them in connecting farm audiences with resources.

Develop educational modules for community gardens leaders on topics related to the larger food system and traditional agriculture. A website will be developed that features available modules for garden leaders to select from. Garden leaders in turn will hold educational events for their members and larger surrounding community to better understand where food comes from. Numerous agencies and organizations were involved in offering agricultural information and support to farms. This assistance is greatly appreciated however programs were complex and confusing regarding process, eligibility, and consequences. Information was shared at a rapid pace and from many directions. The team discussed possible ways to streamline information directly to farmers and ways to help with participation and adoption.

NTAE Project Contact: Maria Pippidis

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