Food is a natural convener of people – family, friends, welcome guests, and new ideas – so should an organization rooted in food access.
Healthy Food Healthy People of Niagara Falls partnered with local consultant Buffalo Moose Group to work with community leaders, throughout 2020-2021, to create a strategic roadmap to move the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan forward.
“We understand and embrace the value of difference, making use of each individual or organization’s strengths, and that much is gained through collaboration,” said Cynnie Gaasch of Buffalo Moose Group. “We understand that many organizations have suffered from a lack of investment from those in positions of power. Together, we help clients to move into strength and gain the support they deserve.”
Since 2009, when the Niagara Falls residents began its investigation into quality of life, health, and safety, the need to improve health outcomes for residents had become clear. Thanks to the work of the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan, channels to support improved health have now been identified, and this roadmap for the development of a new and sustainable organization dedicated to improving food access is taking shape for the benefit of all Niagara Falls residents. The Niagara Falls Food Action Roadmap calls for the work to be a relevant celebration and opportunity – of strength rather than poverty.
Residents of Niagara Falls, New York, are mobilizing to create a robust and healthy community through the vital source of food. Today there is an opportunity to secure the strength of our community, allowing food to be the catalyst for growth it is, but not just for healthy bodies. The potential for food to have a positive impact on economic development, community, good health, learning, growth, and great conversation is there. This roadmap is focused on activating the talents and resources of our region to create that change around food in Niagara Falls.
There will be opportunities for small-business development, entrepreneurship, neighbors helping neighbors, increased equity around how food resources are distributed, balance through food justice, and a healthy community that begins to restore residents’ trust.
We’d like to thank all of our partners for guiding this process, starting with Project Director Tom Lowe, from Field & Fork Network, and the steering committee, who met monthly, made up of: Brian Archie – Create a Healthier Niagara Falls, Lisa French – Field & Fork Network, Lisa Neff – American Heart Association, Lynne Neveu – Planned Parenthood of Western and Central NY, Jeanette Koncikowski – Grassroots Gardens of WNY, Jen Regan – Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County, and Rob Sozanski – USA Niagara Empire State Development.
To read more about the strategic roadmap please read the narrative found here.
Refresh your memory of the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan here.