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Giving Tuesday!

This Tuesday is #GivingTuesday, please consider donating to the Alaska Food Policy Council.  We appreciate your support! 

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Meet our new AFPC Governing Board Members! 

Charles Bingham, Sitka Local Food Network, Board President Charles Bingham is board president and communications director of the Sitka Local Foods Network. He also serves on the advisory team of the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen project, and has been involved in several other Sitka Health Summit community wellness projects. His work experience includes nearly two decades working as a newspaper journalist all over Alaska, and more than a decade working in media/public relations for a tribal health network, university and as a freelancer. Charles grew up in Anchorage and has lived and/or worked in all corners of Alaska. He has been in Sitka for 12 years and Southeast Alaska for 18 years.

Charles Bingham, Sitka Local Food Network, Board President

Charles Bingham is board president and communications director of the Sitka Local Foods Network. He also serves on the advisory team of the Sitka Kitch community rental commercial kitchen project, and has been involved in several other Sitka Health Summit community wellness projects. His work experience includes nearly two decades working as a newspaper journalist all over Alaska, and more than a decade working in media/public relations for a tribal health network, university and as a freelancer. Charles grew up in Anchorage and has lived and/or worked in all corners of Alaska. He has been in Sitka for 12 years and Southeast Alaska for 18 years.

Jo Dawson, Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, Child Nutrition Program Manager Jo Dawson is the Child Nutrition Programs State Director for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development and holds a Master of Science in Management and Leadership.  A lifelong Alaskan, Jo lives in Juneau, Alaska with her husband, youngest daughter, and three dogs.

Jo Dawson, Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, Child Nutrition Program Manager

Jo Dawson is the Child Nutrition Programs State Director for the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development and holds a Master of Science in Management and Leadership.  A lifelong Alaskan, Jo lives in Juneau, Alaska with her husband, youngest daughter, and three dogs.

Melissa Chlupach,  Nana Management Services, Regional Healthcare Dietitian Melissa Chlupach was born and raised in Willow, Alaska and attended the University of Idaho. She received Bachelor of Science degrees in Animal Sciences ¬- Production and Nutrition/Dietetics and a Master of Science degree in Sport Science and Nutrition. Melissa has been with NANA Management Services (NMS) for 11 years and is currently the Regional Healthcare Dietitian.  Today, she supports seven food service contracts (Maniilaq Health Center, Maniilaq Utuqqanaat Inaat Long-Term Care, ANMC, API, Marlow Manor Assisted Living, SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital and San Carlos Apache Healthcare Center).  Melissa received the Alaska Dietetic Association’s (AKDA) 2016 Emerging Dietetic Leader of the Year and 2017 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year.  She is President-Elect for AKDA.  Her biggest and most rewarding project is the traditional foods initiative and movement for the State of Alaska. Melissa's goal is to bring people together to share best practices so we can learn from each other, promoting health and wellness throughout our Native American communities.

Melissa Chlupach,  Nana Management Services, Regional Healthcare Dietitian

Melissa Chlupach was born and raised in Willow, Alaska and attended the University of Idaho. She received Bachelor of Science degrees in Animal Sciences ¬- Production and Nutrition/Dietetics and a Master of Science degree in Sport Science and Nutrition. Melissa has been with NANA Management Services (NMS) for 11 years and is currently the Regional Healthcare Dietitian.  Today, she supports seven food service contracts (Maniilaq Health Center, Maniilaq Utuqqanaat Inaat Long-Term Care, ANMC, API, Marlow Manor Assisted Living, SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital and San Carlos Apache Healthcare Center).  Melissa received the Alaska Dietetic Association’s (AKDA) 2016 Emerging Dietetic Leader of the Year and 2017 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year.  She is President-Elect for AKDA.  Her biggest and most rewarding project is the traditional foods initiative and movement for the State of Alaska. Melissa's goal is to bring people together to share best practices so we can learn from each other, promoting health and wellness throughout our Native American communities.

Rachael Miller, The Food Corridor, Director of Community and Alaska Pacific University, Assistant Professor of Business After a stint in the United States Peace Corps as a small business volunteer, a few seasons commercial fishing in Dutch Harbor, building sustainable seafood tools for restaurants, launching a street food business in West Africa, Rachael finally landed in Anchorage. She believes in consumer empowerment through education and increased access to resources, and sees business as a tool to catalyze change. Rachael is a food systems consultant and Director of Community for The Food Corridor, a shared-use kitchen management platform. When not learning more about the world's food system, she teaches marketing, entrepreneurship, and innovation in both the undergraduate business and MBA programs at Alaska Pacific University.

Rachael Miller, The Food Corridor, Director of Community and Alaska Pacific University, Assistant Professor of Business

After a stint in the United States Peace Corps as a small business volunteer, a few seasons commercial fishing in Dutch Harbor, building sustainable seafood tools for restaurants, launching a street food business in West Africa, Rachael finally landed in Anchorage. She believes in consumer empowerment through education and increased access to resources, and sees business as a tool to catalyze change. Rachael is a food systems consultant and Director of Community for The Food Corridor, a shared-use kitchen management platform. When not learning more about the world's food system, she teaches marketing, entrepreneurship, and innovation in both the undergraduate business and MBA programs at Alaska Pacific University.


Scenes from the Alaska Food Festival & Conference

At the 2017 Alaska Food Festival & Conference, about 200 participants learned the latest information on food sovereignty, biomass greenhouses, food hubs and co-ops, salmon, and a host of other Alaska food system issues. Saturday’s Food Festival had hands-on interactive activities for adults and kids alike, with some participants butchering snowshoe hares and grouse, or making bread and butter. Many shopped at the farm stands and sampled tasty Alaskan dishes demonstrated by local chefs.

This was the first time the AK Food Festival & Conference was held in Fairbanks. The Interior Alaska Food Network took the lead on planning the event and did a fantastic job of engaging their community in event activities and highlighting local Fairbanks farmers, chefs, food products, and food system people. Chefs from the Stone Soup culinary training program prepared a delicious lunch with salmon from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, barley couscous from Alaska Flour Company, and hubbard squash soup from Dart AM Farms. The Food Policy Networking Event was a great time to mingle to local music and sample locally-made beverages and fresh shucked oysters from Jakalof Bay Oysters.

The AK Food Festival & Conference helps AFPC meet their goal to advocate, connect & inform around Alaska’s food system issues. The wide range of topics and activities brings together a dynamic and diverse crowd. As Liz Hodges-Snyder, co-chair of the AFPC Governing Board, says, “Our state – in terms of money and in terms of human resources – is too small for us not to be working together.”

Many people donated time and resources to make this event a great success! Go to the AFPC 2017 Festival & Conference website page to see the agenda, pictures, presentations, and all the wonderful sponsors, speakers and volunteers!


Robbi Mixon, 2017 Alaska Food Hero  Robbi Mixon has managed the Homer Farmers Market for years, fostering amazing growth due to her knack for recognizing needs and addressing them.  Her tenure includes the adoption of the market coin program and SNAP benefits program and other initiatives at the Market that have improved the access to local food as well as the advancement of basic infrastructure at the Market. The Farmers Market Managers Conference this spring was her vision and her hard work and it connected markets from around the state - again fostering a kind of growth that comes from building relationships. She is the coordinator for the new Kenai Peninsula Food Hub, a new and baffling form of market access for producers and a new platform for local food distribution. Juggling the new challenges this platform has presented, she continues to innovate as to how it can be modified to succeed here in Alaska. She has jump-started the Alaska Farmers Market Association with a recent FMPP grant for three years of support and further relationship building and resource sharing.  I honestly can't think of another soul in these times of contraction around the state who has done more to expand, on so many levels, the local food system in Alaska.  She has indeed had a tremendous impact on Alaska's food system, transformed our community food system, and is making a difference in Alaska's prosperity, health, and self-reliance. Congratulations, Robbi!

Robbi Mixon, 2017 Alaska Food Hero 

Robbi Mixon has managed the Homer Farmers Market for years, fostering amazing growth due to her knack for recognizing needs and addressing them.  Her tenure includes the adoption of the market coin program and SNAP benefits program and other initiatives at the Market that have improved the access to local food as well as the advancement of basic infrastructure at the Market. The Farmers Market Managers Conference this spring was her vision and her hard work and it connected markets from around the state - again fostering a kind of growth that comes from building relationships. She is the coordinator for the new Kenai Peninsula Food Hub, a new and baffling form of market access for producers and a new platform for local food distribution. Juggling the new challenges this platform has presented, she continues to innovate as to how it can be modified to succeed here in Alaska. She has jump-started the Alaska Farmers Market Association with a recent FMPP grant for three years of support and further relationship building and resource sharing.  I honestly can't think of another soul in these times of contraction around the state who has done more to expand, on so many levels, the local food system in Alaska.  She has indeed had a tremendous impact on Alaska's food system, transformed our community food system, and is making a difference in Alaska's prosperity, health, and self-reliance.

Congratulations, Robbi!


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Remembering Ed Bermudez

 

AFPC is remembering Ed Bermudez of Breadline Stone Soup, who passed away on November 13, 2017.  Ed was the Executive Director of Breadline Inc. in Fairbanks.  He will be remembered for his passion for building and empowering the Fairbanks community, especially around food security efforts. He had many years of experience helping nonprofits with managing volunteers, engaging supporters and leading staff in creative programs.  Ed was with the Alaska community for a short time joining Breadline in the fall of 2016, but certainly made his mark and formed many friendships.  He was treasured and loved and will be truly missed by his colleagues, friends and those he committed to providing service