Focus will be on local foods Oct. 20
"Do you eat? Eating is for Everyone!" is an event organized by the Local Food Connection to encourage community members to think about what they’re eating.
On Oct. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Telstar High School, residents will have the chance to eat local foods and learn more about what foods are available locally, how to purchase them, and why utilizing local food is important.
A few years ago Amy Scott sat down with other moms in the community and asked the question, “How can we connect more kids and adults with locally grown foods?”
Several meetings, community forums and potlucks later, said Scott, they had the answer: The Local Food Connection.
The group of individuals and organizations, businesses and schools, youth and seniors encourages all community members to grow, prepare, serve, purchase and consume local foods. The organization has established a number of goals, some of which include: strengthen Bethel’s capacity to feed itself and enhance its food security; educate youth and the community about the benefits of eating and producing foods from our local area, including the economy, environment, health, and sustainability; support local businesses and strengthen the local economy by working to keep dollars flowing among local producers, retailers and consumers; build capacity in the community to produce food, through such resources as organic production, transition to organic production, securing farmlands and matching potential farmers with farmland.
“We are going to startlooking at our local food system,” said Scott. “It’s the first step of many, in that, we need to look at what is available locally, how we can grow it, sell it and get our resources together and then how to expand the idea.”
Scott said that on Oct. 20, community members will hear how other communities got started and what changes they were able to make and benefit from.
Attendees will also enjoy a homemade meal created by Anna Sysko of Anna’s Gardens and Greenhouse. All ingredients will be locally sourced, including apples, squash, greens and other vegetables. Ingredients like wheat flour, butter and those things that are harder to find locally will be purchased within the state.
Others involved in planning the event include Maine Network of Community Food Councils, Healthy Oxford Hills, the 5-2-1-0 Program, Got Farms, the University of Maine Learning Center at Bryant Pond and Jeanne Lapointe of the SAD 44 and RSU 10 school food programs.
“We are looking to strengthen our local food reliance,” said Scott. “We need to find security in the area in which we live and I think Bethel has a great foundation for such an investment.”