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Food Assessment Underway

In Klickitat, Skamania counties

Multiple Gorge-area organizations and agencies are in the process of conducting a Community Food Assessment in Klickitat and Skamania counties.

Project partners involved in the CFA include Gorge Grown Food Network (GGFN), Mid-Columbia Children's Council, WSU Extension, the Horizons Program, and the Klickitat County Health Department (KCHD).

A Community Food Assessment is a collaborative, participatory process that examines a range of community food issues and assets with the goal of improving food security and community health and education. This process will help better understand food needs in this area and identify potential solutions.

In Klickitat and Skamania counties, the community partners will work together throughout 2009 to seek community residents' input on a range of food issues, from shopping to hunger to gardening.

The project partners will distribute surveys, facilitate focus groups, and conduct research for this assessment. The information collected from the community food assessment will be used to work toward meeting the following goals:

Increase opportunities for low-income residents of Klickitat and Skamania counties to improve their food self-reliance.

Address the sustainability of the emergency food network in Klickitat and Skamania counties.

Enhance the viability of and participation in local, direct food markets.

Currently, the project partners are in the process of distributing the Klickitat and Skamania counties community food survey.

This survey will help to determine what residents of Klickitat and Skamania counties want and need when it comes to the food they eat everyday.

It is a chance for community members to offer ideas and voice their opinion about their local food system -- whether they can get all the food they need, whether they garden, etc. We want to hear from everyone!

The survey, which is anonymous and completely private and available in English and Spanish, can be found online and at several locations.

To access the survey online, go to http://tinyurl.com/cfafoodsurvey.

For individuals who do not have Internet access, the survey is available at the Klickitat County Health Department, the Goldendale, White Salmon, and Stevenson public libraries, and at many public events throughout the spring.

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