In SHIP 2, a local group formed to develop priorities for advancing and promoting healthy and locally grown foods in a five county area. This group worked to develop a local foods resolution with plans to present at each of the five county boards. The team included representation from local growers, concerned citizens/parents, county commissioners, dieticians, seniors and others who were invested in advancing healthy, locally grown foods in our communities. The group worked over the course of year to identify priorities and develop the resolution. During SHIP 2, the resolution was presented and passed in Faribault, Martin, Cottonwood and Jackson Counties. With the start of SHIP 3, the primary goal was to present the resolution to stakeholders in Watonwan County. Working with representation from the Food Policy Council and the board chair for the Watonwan County Human Services Board, we were able to allocate time on the agenda during both November and December meetings. At the November board meeting, the board previewed the film, A Place at the Table, a documentary overviewing food insecurity and obesity in the United States. The use of the documentary helped local stakeholders identify with similar issues happening locally and signified the need for local policy to influence healthy food access. At the December meeting, the Local Foods Resolution was presented and unanimously adopted by board members.
The adoption of the local foods resolution was an important first step in creating a healthy food environment for our communities. It also signifies the important role SHIP has in helping to increase access to locally grown foods for our community members.