The mission of the Food Systems Program at West Central is to increase food security for every individual, family, and community in the nine county region we serve through dynamic transformational work. We strive to improve local food systems by creating and improving opportunity for growers, makers, and eaters.
Initiatives of the program:
West Central Community Farm
- Located on the corner of Locust and Burbank Street in Appleton City
- Broke ground in 2015- first growing season in 2016 with 1/3 of the quarter acre site in production.
- Managed organically in accordance with the National Organic Program rules. LINK- NOP
- In 2016 we harvested over 1100 pounds of the following crops: Eggplant, Tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, okra, watermelon, cantaloupe, culinary herbs, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, beets, lettuce, and spinach.
- All harvested produce goes to the food insecure families in the West Central region, distributed through the food pantry, Head Start, housing, and other ways.
- Plans for the future:
- Build an outdoor classroom;
- To have all of the site (minus the outdoor classroom area) in production;
- Develop a post-harvest handling area; and
- A collaborative project with Cultivate KC
- FINI Funding
- List of farmers markets participating in Double Up Food Bucks
- Cedar County Farmers Market- El Dorado Springs
- Hickory County Farmers Market- Hermitage
- Vernon County Farmers Market- Nevada
- Warsaw Farmers Market – Warsaw
- Cass County Farmers Market- Harrisonville
- Greater Polk County Farmers Market- Bolivar
Farm to School
- Pilot- Hickory County all school districts
- Hermitage R-IV School District – Hermitage
- Hickory County R-I School District – Urbana
- Weaubleau R-III School District – Weaubleau
- Wheatland R-II School District – Wheatland
- Hickory County Health Department
- Future efforts – We want expand our work in this area
Food Pantry expansion
- Went from 220 sq. ft. to over 1000 sq. ft.
- Want to increase the number of families we serve
- Healthy Shelves
The Food and Agriculture Regional Enterprise Center (FARE Center)
- Located in Appleton City
- Work in progress, partnering with Kaysinger Basin
Click on the image below to see the PBS “ShowMe Ag” program highlighting West Central and the Local Foods, Local Places program.
Missouri Community Action Food Systems Coalition
- Food summit – MO CAAs 7 participated
- Local Food Local Places
- Collaborating with Regional Food Hub efforts
- Working to develop a regional network of growers that can be part of the regional food hub – Fresh Farm HQ -a farmer cooperative
- Gardening classes
We are working on effective ways to Increase agricultural economic development in this region through developing opportunities like:
- Expanding and creating markets for farmers
- Micro lending for food related businesses
- Farm land trust
- Value-added food businesses
- Incubator kitchen programs
- Farm worker development and training
Are you a farmer looking to expand your market?
Are you interested in becoming a farmer?
Are you concerned about access to healthy food?
Would you like a garden workshop in your community?
Are you a farmers market interested in expanding your customer base?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, please email email@example.com.