Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition (MFCC) recently launched Food & Gardens for a Resilient Monadnock — a new website providing gardening training and resources, information on programs making local food more affordable, as well as where to find free meals.
“We are experiencing an unprecedented moment with the COVID pandemic which has made us re-examine our supply chains and how we get our food. Many people in our region are feeling increased anxiety about how they are going to get food on their tables. Building resilience through gardening and better information on how to access food, can help,” says Roe-Ann Tasoulas, MFCC Director.
MFCC’s Food Access Working Group (FAWG) is one of three committees meeting regularly to help build the coalition’s mission to “build a sustainable, equitable, and robust local food system” and is the driving force behind the website. FAWG organizational members include UNH Extension Nutrition Connections, Community Garden Connections, Monadnock Understands Childhood Hunger (MUCH), Cheshire Medical Center for Population Health, The Community Kitchen, Cheshire County Conservation District, Monadnock Grows Together, The Retreat Farm, and individuals.
The working group’s desire to launch a new gardening and food access site was sparked by a recent survey sent out to participants in the MUCH vacation box program. According to Tasoulas, “the feedback we received underscored the urgent need for individuals and families to have more power over where and how they access food.”
Historically, people often grow their own food in major crises — as evidenced by the onslaught of “Victory Gardens” during World War II in a response to feed both troops and families.
“Our hope is that these new community resources will empower people to feel more food secure long after the pandemic is over by developing our own story of resilience,” adds Tasoulas.