Several dozen residents of Harvey County gathered for a FEAST at the Meridian Center, though they were not necessarily filling their stomachs with copious amounts of lavish food — though there was a meal served featuring locally sourced ingredients.
The FEAST, as it is called, was one of the first steps of implementation of a grant awarded to Harvey County. FEAST is the short name for Food, Agriculture, Education Solutions Together.
Those in attendance Wednesday were discussing the food system in Harvey County, part of a grant project looking at healthy eating.
“We looked at who across our state has the highest need,” said Tina Khan, project coordinator for the Center for Engagement and Community Development. “Who has issues of poverty and disparities of food across their area.”
Harvey County was one of nine communities selected.
Wednesday, the goal was to discuss what assets and gaps exist in the county, and to identify priorities for people to start working to see change.
Those three priorities became obvious after table discussions — with transportation, education and local food economy awareness.
The area of transportation dealt with both consumer and market transportation to improve access to healthy foods. The area of education was keyed on helping county residents not only understand what a healthy diet looks like, but how to grow their own food and cooking healthy foods. Local food economy awareness looked at connecting food producers to processors and possible consumers.