Each year, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) honors a group of people, businesses, or partners who have made a positive impact on the local food system, through their Local Hero Awards.
CISA has been working for over 25 years to build a stronger, more resilient, and more just local food system. The organization envisions a local food system where farms are viable, working conditions are fair and just for owners and workers, the environment is respected, and locally grown food is available for all.
The 2022 Awards were announced at CISA’s 2022 annual meeting, which took place online on Thursday, April 14th. Among the three recipients were Queen”s Greens, a first generation farm with a focus on winter greens, sold fully wholesale; and the Smith College Dining Services, for their dedication as a creative problem solving partner to farms in the area. The Collaborative for Educational Service’s Healthy Hampshire team was also named as a Local Hero in 2022, for their work including supporting SNAP matching programs at local farmer’s markets, setting up community gardens, developing mobile food markets, and recently starting the Food Policy Council in Hampshire County. In particular, the organization was congratulated for putting the folks who are experiencing the issues at the center of solving them. CISA noted that Healthy Hampshire’s work doesn’t happen without the engagement and leadership of the people who are most affected.
Caitlin Marquis accepted on behalf of the Healthy Hampshire team, including Talya Sogoba, S. Clarke Bankert, Kristen Whitmore, Caitlin Marquis, and Kia Aoki and Marta Alvarez, who were recently hired onto the Healthy Hampshire team as Community Liaisons for the Hampshire County Food Policy Council. Said Caitln, “I’m very excited about this honor–it really means a lot to me, as someone who grew up in this community with CISA as such a pillar of the local food system. I’m so proud to be able to share this honor with such an amazing team and network of partners. We are all local heroes.”
You can find profiles of past CISA local heroes online at https://www.buylocalfood.org/local-hero-profiles/
Healthy Hampshire is a program of the Collaborative for Educational Services, and you can learn more about the work of Healthy Hampshire here: http://www.healthyhampshire.org/