Our Vision for 2021
Oh, 2020. To say the least, this year has been a wild ride. When COVID hit, we had to cancel the majority of our programs and pivot to new projects. As a small organization, we can be quick on our feet, creating programs like the COVID-19 Grant Fund for Food Producers, and our online marketplace Small Farms Market Day. It's November and we're just now able to reflect on how our organization has changed this year. With all the heartache COVID brought, it also forced us to pause and re-envision Food Web programs.
Using our Strategic Plan as a guide, we decided on programming that matches our staff capacity, will have a measurable impact, and will allow us to serve our community during and beyond this pandemic.
So what are we doing in 2021? Here are the highlights:
Running and improving our weekly online local foods marketplace, Small Farms Market Day, including: starting a pilot delivery program, streamlining payment with assistance programs (SNAP and Farm Direct checks), and building in connections between vendors and customers
Providing assistance for small farms and food businesses as they get started, scale up, and/or become financially stable
Renting our commercial kitchen, with an emphasis on supporting growing food businesses and community projects
Building our community partnerships
Centering equity in our work and engaging in state-wide food equity projects and conversations
We know there are programs that aren’t on this list that people love: cooking classes, Fruit Box, Young Chef’s Camp, and more. We loved those programs because they were exciting and in-person. However, our organization is pivoting. We realized (and were told by professionals a few times!), before the pandemic, that as a small organization looking to make a big impact, we needed to pare down our programs. We are following the wisdom that it's better to do one thing really well, than to do a dozen things poorly. We did have wonderful and fun cooking classes, but our two staff members didn't have the time to measure the impact of that program, let alone the eight other programs we were running in 2019. We needed to make a change so that our programs match our capacity and have one core theme. We need programs that we fully believe in and that we are uniquely suited to work on.
As Programs Manager, I am really excited about the direction we're headed.
This year, our focus is on building robust and organized programs to support farmers and small food businesses, and taking better stock of what we call our 'local food system' as a foundation to future work.
We need excited community members to help us spread the word, critical friends who will ask questions about Food Web programs to help us make improvements, engaged volunteers, and donors to help support our work.
I hope you're with us!