Maryland Food System Map | Center for a Livable Future

This is one of my favorite food system sites . Wouldn’t it be great if each state and every regional projects collected and shared this type of visual data?

A screen shot of the Maryland Food Map circa July 2013.

A screen shot of the Maryland Food System Map circa July 2013.

Note from the organizers:

Map updates include expanded Nutrition Assistance data and updated points of interest for Maryland.
Nutrition Assistance – new and updated data about federal nutrition assistance programs.
SNAP usage by Zip Code
Schools with 50% or more children who are eligible for free and reduced cost meals
Afterschool Meal Program Sites
WIC office locations
NOTE: The following existing data layers have been moved to this category:
SNAP Participation by County
SNAP Retailers
WIC Retailers
Points of Interest – updated points of interest note changes in addresses and expand lists statewide.
Institutional sites in this list – schools and hospitals – will be expanded further this year, as we gather data and statistics about how these institutions are using local food. Here are the layers currently updated:
Public schools
Recreation centers
Senior centers

Maryland Food System Map | Center for a Livable Future.

The MOON magazine | The Future of Food

This month we gather around the topic of food—a subject everyone loves. Food is the great convenor, the global common denominator, the alchemical substance that pulls parties into the kitchen, makes friends out of strangers, puts flesh on our bones and smiles on our faces.

But all is not well in food land, despite the colorful array of products on U.S. grocery store shelves. One third of Americans are overweight; diet-related diseases are skyrocketing; our food is being designed to addict, rather than nourish; bees are dying; biodiversity is being lost; and modern agriculture is based on massive inputs of petroleum—a finite resource.

The MOON magazine | The Future of Food.

International Day of Peasant’s Struggle, April 17

The peasant movement, La Via Campesina is a bright light in the darkness that is spreading with global corporations controlling more and more of the natural resources across the world. This loose confederation of actions and organizations has its feet solidly in the food sovereignty movement, which I think U.S. activists should identify as our chief food system goal, rather than food security. Food security (availability of good food for all) is important, but more important is when it happens where the local community decides how, when and where to feed itself which is what food sovereignty encompasses.

“The international peasants’ movement La Via Campesina has been defending and expanding the practice and policies of food sovereignty around the world for 20 years. To launch another 20 years of struggle, we are calling for a massive mobilisation day on 17 April, the International Day of Peasants’ Struggles, to reclaim our food system which is being increasingly occupied by transnational capital. We invite everyone to organise activities, protests, art exhibitions, direct actions, discussions, film screenings, farmers markets etc., in your village, school, office, neighbourhood, organisation, community…”

Wherever you are, join this collective celebration on 17 April!

At the World Food Summit in 1996, La Via Campesina (LVC) launched a concept that both challenged the corporate dominated, market driven model of globalised food production and distribution, as well as offering a new paradigm to fight hunger and poverty by developing and strengthening local economies. Since then, food sovereignty has captured the imagination of people the world over – including many governments and multilateral institutions – and has become a global rallying cry for those committed to social, environmental, economic and political justice. Food sovereignty is different from food security in both approach and politics. Food security does not distinguish where food comes from, or the conditions under which it is produced and distributed. National food security targets are often met by sourcing food produced under environmentally destructive and exploitative conditions, and supported by subsidies and policies that destroy local food producers but benefit agribusiness corporations. Food sovereignty emphasizes ecologically appropriate production, distribution and consumption, social-economic justice and local food systems as ways to tackle hunger and poverty and guarantee sustainable food security for all peoples. It advocates trade and investment that serve the collective aspirations of society. It promotes community control of productive resources; agrarian reform and tenure security for small-scale producers; agro-ecology; biodiversity; local knowledge; the rights of peasants, women, indigenous peoples and workers; social protection and climate justice.

Governance case study

In 2012, I did an introductory set of case studies on market structure to begin to get some good information to markets that are struggling with their founding or expansion.
The case studies that I did were of markets that had offered to share their background and systems with me that covered some regularly used types of governance.
However, I would like to stress that often when markets ask for help with their governance, what they really need is help designing appropriate management systems. In other words, if the market community has the ability to understand and even help decide on rules and decisions and manages its organizational risks well, then I often have to conclude that the governance is fine (although sometimes the pool of available advisors to serve is too small or maybe the work is as not clearly defined as it needs to be). What is more often in flux is the design of the management job and a market’s planning for project design.
It is clear that consultants need to have more options for management to match the many types of markets that exist. On top of that, how a market decides on projects to undertake every year should be more comprehensive than a manager’s good idea and willingness of volunteers to help.
I expect to do some work on management systems and project design in 2013 and to be able to share new resources. Until then, take a look at the Market Governance Case Study Report:
HPMG-MG report

Back to Burlington

The late winter and spring are mad times for a farmers market consultant. The numbers of workshops and conferences has doubled or tripled in the last few years and every year since 2005 or so, I have been honored to be asked to present at 4 to 10 state or national convenings. I very much appreciate the opportunity to work with many market and market advocates at one time and to hear about new ideas and to meet some of those names I read from reports and posts on listserves.
In January, I spoke at NOFA-VT’s Direct Marketing Conference for the second year and I must say it’s a favorite of mine-a great mix of market organizers, farmers and agencies. Very focused and well attended. NOFA does an extremely professional job putting this on without showing the blood, sweat and maybe even tears, but knowing them its probably blood, sweat and laughs…
Part of why I went there was to conduct interviews with farmers and market operators to ensure their point of view is included within the state feasibility report that I am doing for NOFA and VAAFM (Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets) on their EBT, WIC, FMNP systems and what steps it would take to build a comprehensive and universal system for their markets. (And no, I don’t ski or participate in winter sports so outdoor fun doesn’t factor in….)
Unfortunately, my schedule, vendors winter flu and other issues prevented me from getting enough interviews, so I decided to come back and to buttonhole some more folks at the other conference I have heard about from many Vermonters-NOFA’s Winter Conference. Workshops, TED talks, a multitude of different points of views from producers to “eaters” and a seed swap among many other things.
If you’re nearby and can make it, you might want to register and check it out for yourself. If you’re further away, you might want to download their brochure and put one on in your town.

How to Win Grants from Private Foundations


  • 2:00 pm EST
  • DURATION: 60 minutes


As governments cut back and donors get more selective, more and more nonprofits are turning to private foundations for support.

But attracting private foundation money is very different than seeking corporate aid or federal and state grants.

To learn how you can stand out from the competition and understand what foundations are seeking, join The Chronicle of Philanthropy for a Webinar that features insights from a veteran program officer who has reviewed thousands of proposals over the last decade. Tobi Printz-Platnick of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation will offer practical advice for increasing your odds of success, shed light on how foundations make their decisions, and show you how to talk about your organization’s weaknesses as well as its strengths.

You’ll also hear from a fundraising consultant and author, John Hicks, who will explain how to build strong ties to program officers, demonstrate that your work aligns with a foundation’s mission, and set your organization apart from the competition.

What Will You Learn?
  • Tips for ensuring you give foundations the information they want.
  • Do’s and Don’ts for your next grant proposal
  • Strategies for improving your odds of winning support
Who Should Attend?
  • Grant-proposal writers
  • Chief development officers, development directors, and fundraisers
  • Executive directors and board members
Tobi  Printz-Platnick

Program Officer

Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

John  Hicks


J.C. Geever, Inc.

DAWN Launches Rural Worker Cooperatives Assistance Program | Democracy at Work Network

I do think that one of the emerging trends that is coming to community food system work – especially markets – will be worker cooperatives. Take advantage of the excellent peer work that DAWN offers to learn more about this and to assist rural farmers and producers in your area.

DAWN Launches Rural Worker Cooperatives Assistance Program | Democracy at Work Network.