Gorge Grown Food Network (GGFN) is gearing up to launch their second implementation of a program that develops leadership abilities in its participants.
The program is called Community Food Leaders, and it focuses on building leadership skills with the hope of leading to grassroots community-led food projects in the Gorge.
GGFN plans to offer Community Food Leaders to several communities over the next couple years. Beginning Feb. 25 and continuing until April 8, the first of these trainings will take place in Bingen. An informational gathering will be held Tuesday, Feb. 18 at Henni’s Restaurant in White Salmon at 6 p.m. for those interested in participating in the program.
GGFN first piloted Community Food Leaders in Stevenson, Wash., and The Dalles in 2010 with support from Meyer Memorial Trust. One group of graduates is founding the Gorge Winds Community Grocery, a food co-op in North Bonneville. Others have played important roles in their local farmers’ markets, have started independent agricultural businesses, or have supported GGFN community educational efforts.
Today the program has evolved to highlight multiple leadership development strategies and to include new food system educational tools. It has also been updated to reflect the changes in the local food system.
This program is open to anybody that lives near White Salmon or Bingen and has an interest in helping these communities create solutions to build a healthy population with a stable source of local food.
There are many solutions to filling food gaps in communities, and this class will teach students how and why to use grassroots projects to address these food access issues.
To learn more about how to apply and tuition costs (limited scholarships are available), attend the informational night Feb. 18 at Henni’s Restaurant or contact GGFN Program Associate Woodley Smith at Woodley@gorgegrown .com or 541-380-5130.
Most classes will take place on Tuesdays in Bingen, with two Saturday sessions.
Certified adult educator and past Food Leader instructor Kate Stoysich is the educator for the spring 2014 cohort of food leaders. Food leaders training will be offered in at least three other gorge communities before 2017 thanks to funding support from Meyer Memorial Trust.