Sustainability Fair Presents New Ideas
COLUMBIA - People from around the state gathered Sunday to express their concerns for a lack of local food supply during the Sustainability Living fair at Columbia College. Keynote speaker and member of the Well Fed Neighbor Alliance member, Galen Chadwick, called for a major change to the way Missouri gets food.
Another Well Fed Neighbor Alliance member recalled an ice storm when store shelves were bare within 72 hours, because of low levels of local food supply.
The group sees a major problem with this issue, calling for a "Missouri Citizen's Food Security Congress." They are asking for Missourians to come forward to lead the grass roots effort they are calling "Million Gardens for Missouri."
According to Chadwick, the congress will oversee the "Million Gardens for Missouri" effort, which includes:
- Planting a garden for each Missourian currently on welfare or collecting food stamps
- Restoring independent family farms, donating land to be managed by veterans and creating "patriot farmers" as a reward for their services
- "Mom's for Local Food" helping the efforts as according to Chadwick, 95% of food purchases are made by women, also adding a "miles traveled" below a total price on grocery receipts
Chadwick says the focus on a local food supply and gardening will create local jobs and boost the economy. He also says the plan will bring security in case of extreme weather, economic hardships, poverty and unemployment.
One woman says she comes from a community where many live in poverty. She thinks this plan would benefit these communities. "They literally work for food... and I think this will give people a lot of hope, especially when they think of it from a different perspective, when they think of it as an actual economic system," she said.
The group plans to launch a website for the "Million Gardens for Missouri" effort next week.