Western Upper Peninsula Food Systems Council
 
 

Our Mission:

Food Resilience.

(This website is currently under development - please excuse our typos)

We identify and propose innovative solutions to improve the local food system in the Western Upper Peninsula, Michigan.

The Western U.P. Food Systems Council is currently being developed by community members across our region. During the next year, the Council is meeting in each of our six counties to build our mission and establish our goals for regional food collaboration and community resilience.

 
 
 
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Our Mission

While our mission is currently under development, we recognize the importance of supporting local food production and making our food system more environmentally sustainable and socially just.

Learn More

 
 

Our Impact

For decades, the failings of our food system have been viewed as isolated problems, to be dealt with by a fragmented array of government and non-government agencies at the state and local level. The Western U.P. Food Systems Council began as a way to address the food system as a whole, by bringing the weight of local and regional partnerships behind grassroots initiatives. Instead of many advocates working on the isolated symptoms of a food system that doesn’t serve the people, the Council attempts to establish platforms for coordinated action at the local level.

 

30+

Money Raised

With over $30,000 raised in just four months, our grant writers are co-creating with the Council to fund Community Food Assessments and other initiatives in the Western Upper Peninsula

 

50+

Years Serving communities

One of the main organizations funding the Council’s formation, the Western U.P. Planning & Development Region has decades of experience supporting regional collaboration for economic development.

 
 

100+

Thousands of People impacted by Supporting local food

By supporting local food we have the potential to make a significant health and wellness impact on a growing population .

 
 

Our Programs

The Western U.P. Food Systems Initiative applies a community-based planning approach to reduce barriers to healthy food and encourage local food production and collaboration. Several directives fall under the initiative: the creation of a food systems council, conducting community food assessments, and completing a food hub feasibility study.

Unlike other food systems councils that may focus more on market creation or increasing economic power of local growers, we're focused on addressing environmental and social challenges through shared organizing and work through our food systems -- food as a means to re-connect with place and identity, food as medicine, food as resilience, food as nation-building. For us, it's very much rooted in justice

 

Western U.P. Food systems Council

A food systems council consists of a group of representatives and stakeholders from many sectors of the food system. The Western U.P. Food Systems Council met for the first time in Hancock on October 29th and again in Baraga County on December 13 in L’Anse. The next meeting will be held on March 6th at the Gogebic Community College in Ironwood. Join the email list at the bottom of the page to receive invitations to participate in these important events.
 

Food hub feasibility study

The food hub feasibility study will focus the outcome of the assessments into one possible project that may benefit the food systems community through physical infrastructure and economic development. This market demand study will lay out a framework for economic sustainability and success.

Community food Assessments

Community food assessments are needed to determine food and food-related assets, resources, and priorities in order to inform initiatives and promote resource protection, while increasing food equity and organizational capacity. In 2019 the Western U.P. Food Systems Council will oversee the pilot food assessment for the Keweenaw.
 

U.P. Food Exchange

The U.P. Food Exchange (UPFE) is a virtual Food Hub being led by the Marquette Food Co-op and MSU Extension that coordinates and supports local food activities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. UPFE serves as a resource portal for farmers, businesses, and individuals looking to connect with and actively participate in their local food system. The Western U.P. Food Systems Initiative builds on the work of the UPFE and serves as a point of contact for the Western Upper Peninsula.

 
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October 2018

I feel inspired to continue this work and hopefully generate something productive and useful for our communities

  • Western U.P. Food Council Member

 

 
 

Get Involved

Are you interested in learning more about community food work? If you would like to attend a council meeting or participate in the community food assessments, sign up to be on our email list below. As our work moves forward, there will also be more opportunities to engage.

 

Sign Up For email list

Get information emailed to you about the food council meetings and local food events in Western Upper Peninsula, Michigan.

Volunteer opportunities

Sign up to volunteer for community food assessments,
food council meetings, and events.