PSFN is pleased to announce the return of Emma Brewster for a second AmeriCorps term. Emma has been serving as PSFN’s Farm to Community Coordinator, focusing primarily on the CPPW Farm to Table Project with Seattle and King County. This project aims to connect locally-produced fresh fruits and vegetables from PSFN member producers to typically underserved consumers through institutional markets, including free or subsidized child care and senior meal programs. The F2T project is a 20-month project, and PSFN has been happy to have Emma on board for the first ten and a half months of the project, helping to get the purchasing model and infrastructure up and running. Now that the F2T project is half finished and there’s less foundational work to be done with meal partners, Emma is transitioning roles within PSFN as she begins a second AmeriCorps term of service. As PSFN’s Communications & Outreach Coordinator this year, Emma will continue to work part time on the Farm to Table project, seeing it through to its completion in June 2012, and will take on a broader outreach role with PSFN.
As PSFN’s Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Emma will lead PSFN’s external communications including PSFN’s weekly Live Market Fresh Sheet, quarterly newsletters, this blog, and social media outlets including Facebook and Twitter. Emma will help coordinate press and media relations and manage publicity about PSFN and our parent organization, the Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC). If you are a PSFN member with an event to promote or have other news or resources to share, send them Emma’s way!
Within her duties of Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Emma will also be serving as a Regional Field Organizer with The Real Food Challenge, a national program of The Food Project. The Real Food Challenge works to support the purchase, distribution, and consumption of “Real Food” – food that is locally produced and community based, and produced in ways that are fair to humans, humane to animals, and ecologically sound – on college an university campuses nation-wide. Emma will be working with campuses all over Washington to develop strong student leaders who will work with their college or university dining services to help increase the purchase of Real Food.
While PSFN’s mission focuses on increasing the production, distribution and consumption of regionally produced food in NW Washington, specifically, PSFN sees this partnership with the Real Food Challenge as an opportunity to build on our foundation of working with institutional and larger commercial buyers to connect producers with additional viable institutional customers in our region. Additionally, the Real Food Challenge has a broader aim of helping to tackle rising obesity rates in the U.S. by both changing the food served in dining halls on campuses, and by using the purchasing shift and regional infrastructure development inherent to local and alternative sourcing to support the regional distribution of, and market for, fresh, healthful, locally-produced products to all communities. This commitment partners well with the work Emma and PSFN have been doing with Public Health – Seattle & King County through the Farm to Table project under the Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant program. Because of its innovative approach to public health solutions, The Real Food Challenge was recently nominated for a Vh1 Do Something award. Check out this video from the awards ceremony to see the role Real Food Challenge plays in public heath enhancement in our communities.
We’re happy to have Emma on board for another term of service, and are eager to explore market opportunities for PSFN members through her expanded outreach work. Welcome back, Emma!