Community Food Security

This PSA could have been from any town…. the information is notable. Community gardens and community food security is important. Teach a man to fish…

Tulsa Food Security Council and Local Economic Development
Katie Plohocky was April’s featured guest for First Thursdays! at Elote Cafe on Thursday, April 5 from 12:30-2:00 PM. She presented about ongoing projects and outreach with the Tulsa Food Security Council and its mission to help the Tulsa-Metro community and economy become more sustainable and locally dependent.

Katie currently specializes in economic and community development in low income and under served urban areas. She is very passionate about sustainable issues and plugs them in to all of her projects. Her leadership positions related to food initiatives include Tulsa Food Security Council Chairman, Oklahoma Food Policy Council member, Co-Founder and President of the Healthy Community Store Initiative (HSCI, Inc.), Co-founder and Director for the Annual Taste of North Tulsa, Oklahoma Coordinator for National Food Day 2011 and 2012, Gateway Market Community Advisory Committee, the OU Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Care Center Advisory Committee, Forest Orchard Community Garden Director, Pearl Famers Market Board Member, as well as organizing and facilitating food desert and economic development bus tours of North Tulsa for various city and state organizations and dignitaries.

Community food security can be thought of as a community’s ability to provide all of its residents a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice. Community food security represents a comprehensive strategy to address many of the ills affecting our society and environment due to an unsustainable and unjust food system. According to the Community Food Security Coalition, a membership group of over 300 organizations promoting local food security, there are six basic principles of community food security.

Low-income Food Needs
Like the anti-hunger movement, community food security is focused on meeting the food needs of low income communities, reducing hunger and improving individual health.

Broad Goals
Community food security addresses a broad range of problems affecting the food system, community development, and the environment such as increasing poverty and hunger, disappearing farmland and family farms, inner city supermarket redlining, rural community disintegration, rampant suburban sprawl, and air and water pollution from unsustainable food production and distribution patterns.

Community Focus
A community food security approach seeks to build up a community’s food resources to meet its own needs. These resources may include supermarkets, farmers’ markets, gardens, transportation, community-based food processing ventures, and urban farms to name a few.

Self-reliance/Empowerment
Community food security projects emphasize the need to build individuals’ abilities to provide for their food needs. Community food security seeks to build upon community and individual assets, rather than focus on their deficiencies. These projects seek to engage community residents in all phases of project planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Local Agriculture
A stable local agricultural base is key to a community responsive food system. Farmers need increased access to markets that pay them a decent wage for their labor, and farmland needs planning protection from suburban development. By building stronger ties between farmers and consumers, consumers gain a greater knowledge and appreciation for their food source.

Systems-oriented
CFS projects typically are “interdisciplinary,” crossing many boundaries and incorporating collaborations with multiple agencies.

  • Starting a Freecyle Community
    Got closets and basements full of stuff you never use? Need stuff for your community garden but everyone in your group is cash poor? Try Freecycle… a never-ending garage sale of free stuff.

  • Starting a Community Garden
    This fact sheet is designed to give many different groups the
    basic information they need to get their gardening project off the ground.

  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
    CSAs give the consumer choice about how and where their food is grown.
    Learn how to support them and buy a share in a CSA.

  • National Garden Month
    Creative ideas for celebrating National Garden Month

  • Community Garden Resource List
    Links to useful websites and information related to the Community Involvement Criteria.

  • From Field to Fork: Food Security in Oklahoma
    Community food security is a relatively new concept with roots in such disciplines as community nutrition, nutrition education, public health, sustainable agriculture, and anti-hunger and community development.
“To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it.”
~ John Churton Collins
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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease" ~ Thomas Jefferson

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