Midlands Food Alliance
In September 2014, a group of passionate Midlands farmers, specialty producers and local food system champions came together to organize the Midlands Food Alliance (MFA) in hopes of making better sense of a disjointed food system. What started as a grassroots effort is now a well-rooted program in the community, working to stimulate local purchasing to fervently advocate for our community’s small farmers.
Midlands Food Alliance places specific emphasis on building meaningful relationships with like-minded agencies and community leaders, in both alliance and shared responsibility, so as to foster a more sustainable and equitable food system for the Midlands. By listening to suggestions from local farmers and community leaders, the alliance has been able to better identify some of these gaps and then work towards improvement.
One of the goals is to bring folks together to make healthy food choices and do more for all sectors of the region’s food system. In order to support this goal, MFA organizes the annual Midlands food guide and farm tour, a local purchasing pledge hosted at area farmers’ markets and county potlucks and inspired the Richland County Food Policy Council. The first Farmer/Chef Mashup took place in November, where farmers and specialty producers paired with local chefs, grocers and distributors. The occasion proved to be successful in providing new attitudes and opportunities; the focus for 2018 is to strategize how to facilitate and promote regional food hubs.
To learn more and connect with MFA, and subscribe to the monthly newsletter go to the Midlands Food Alliance Facebook page or the website at midlandsfoodalliance.org.
Story by Ariel Brooks, Past Chair