Virtual workshops scheduled to develop a local food network
The growth of downtown development is exciting, and to continue this positive trend your input is needed.
On Sept. 16 and 17 a series of six interconnected virtual community planning workshops, which are part of the Local Foods, Local Places program have been scheduled.
Linda Fondren, who is the executive director of Shape Up Mississippi, said a steering committee was put together to talk about the community needs in the downtown connected area, and a lot of the things that were discussed will be part of the virtual workshops.
Topics covered in the two-day workshop will include: Promoting a Healthy Vicksburg; Including All of Our Neighbors; Leveraging Tourism and Existing Assets; and Growing Our Farmers Market.
From these workshop topics, Fondren said, ideas and suggestions for safe walking and biking downtown will be discussed. So will finding a permanent structure for the farmer’s market in an effort to attract more vendors and tourists, all while supporting local businesses.
Ideas and possible solutions for a healthy grocery store in the downtown area will be another topic of discussion.
Likewise, ideas in how to create farm-to-table type restaurants as well as how to bring a demonstration kitchen downtown where cooking classes can be held will be included in the virtual sessions.
“I often say you can look at a pot and pan on the wall, but what happens if you are able to smell, see and taste?” Fondren said. “This is what you could get in a demonstration kitchen.
“There are a number of opportunities that can happen with this (workshop) so let’s get together and talk about it. That is what this is all about, when we come together we’ll come out of this with an action plan,” Fondren said.
The workshops provided by the LFLP program are sponsored jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. Sessions are specifically geared to helping Vicksburg find solutions and develop a plan of action to create an educational and economical food hub by combining the farmers market, community garden, a demonstration kitchen and an educational center along with the Catfish Row Museum that explains the local culture and its relationship to the Mississippi River.
Ideally, Fondren is hoping people will attend all of the sessions. But for those who cannot commit to all six, there is an option to select individual workshops.
“It is necessary and vital that the community comes out to be a part of this workshop and that way we can get an action plan to implement,” she said.
The LFLP program is made possible by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Vicksburg was one of 16 communities nationwide to receive the technical assistance through the programs.
For more information, call 601-619-7277.
For a complete listing of workshops, times offered, and or to register, visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSey8khDf9V-pzMXEThPerdGxgqkwCZLfAr2XdgpASxqRQ5iiw/viewform.
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