local farmers

  • Call Senator McCaskill & Senator Blunt - Vote YES on the 2018 Farm Bill! 

    The Farm Bill is reauthorized every five years. 2018 is a Farm Bill year and the version in the Senate is our best chance at a Farm Bill that supports our values. Missouri's Senators need to support an amendment by Senator Chuck Grassley to restore accountability and fairness to Title I, which was unable to come to a vote in committee due to a procedural requirement. The amendment will place a hard cap on the total amount of commodity program payments and benefits any one farm can receive annually, and will strengthen “actively engaged” rules to ensure that large operations cannot endlessly multiply payments by adding non-farm investors. Sen. McCaskill & Sen. Blunt also need to defend the good parts of the bipartisan Farm Bill that benefit local and regional food systems, rural business development, conservation, food access & security, beginning & socially disadvantaged farmers, crop insurance, and research. Use our online tool below to find talking points and contact information before for our Senators. You can leave MCE notes on how the call went, which is helpful for our staff when following-up with Senator McCaskill & Senator Blunt. 

     

     

  • Melissa Vatterott, Food & Farm Director

    Rae Miller, Local Food Coordinator

    Tosha Phonix, Food Justice Organizer

    Our environment provides us with many natural resources and benefits, from the air we breathe and the water we drink to natural spaces that help us relax and reconnect with nature and each other. The food we eat is also a resource provided by our environment and, like air and water, is one that we all cannot live without. MCE believes that the food system is an integral part of our environment and that a healthy food system is both sustainable and equitable—it preserves the integrity of air, land, and water while producing abundant, healthy food that is accessible and affordable across all communities.

    However, people are disconnected from the food they eat. Most of the fruits and vegetables Missourians eat come from far away, due to our region’s focus on commodity farming—growing corn and soy mainly for livestock feed, processed food, and ethanol. In spite of our region’s rich soil, abundant water, and our ability to produce the fruits and vegetables we need, many communities, both urban and rural, are going hungry. People across the state are suffering severe health consequences due to inequitable distribution and affordability of healthy foods.

    We believe that to sustain a healthy environment and healthy communities across Missouri, we must work toward a future in which nutritious, locally produced food is accessible and affordable for everyone, and farmers can make a living wage producing it. Our Food and Farm Program is working toward this vision by convening and coordinating the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition, a group of people and organizations across the region united in their efforts to achieve such a future.

  • Thank you to all who participated in the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition's survey about growing food in the city! The survey is now closed. We were able to hear from 854 people from 75 of the city's 79 neighborhoods! Through this survey effort, we sought to learn from city residents: 1) what they and their neighbors are already growing, 2) what types of agriculture activities they would like to see in the city, and 3) how they would like those activities to be regulated. Five participants will receive a gift basket of food and farm swag from STLFPC members! We will use the survey responses to draft an urban agriculture ordinance that meets residents' needs and desires.
     
    We developed this survey with the assistance of Andy Bramman, a St. Louis University student, interning with MCE's Food and Farm Program this summer.
     

    The results are in!

    View results from the entire city here as well as the results for the neighborhoods in North CityCentral Corridor, and South City!
     
    See the survey results by ward below: 
     

    Click here to read our press release about the survey results. 

    Read articles from the St. Louis Post Dispatch and St. Louis Public Radio about the survey results. 

    Maps of the Survey Data

    Click to Zoom

     

    Alderwoman of the 19th Ward, a Champion for Food Access and Community Gardening

    Alderwoman Marlene Davis is committed to the issues expressed in the survey results above. Davis says, 

    "In neighborhoods with limited food access, residents must leave their neighborhood to access nutritious food. Many of these same neighborhoods have vacant lots, littering our neighborhoods with overgrown weeds and costing our taxpayers thousands to maintain. We can start to address both of these issues by organizing strategic plans for our communities, empowering residents to take back their vacant lots, put the land into productive use, and provide themselves and their neighbors with a source of healthy food."

    We thank her for her commitment to address food access and support food growing activities in the City of St. Louis!

     

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Date:October 4, 2017

    Contact:Melissa Vatterott, Food and Farm Director, (314) 727-0600, ext. 111, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) was selected as a recipient for the USDA Local Food Promotion Program. They will receive approximately $45,000 to support local food efforts in the St. Louis region. MCE convenes the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition (STLFPC), a stakeholder group of organizations working in community development, urban farming, food access, public health, local food sales, and the environment. STLFPC’s mission is to promote a thriving local food system that supports the community, health, environment, and economy of the Greater St. Louis area.

    The grant provides funding to increase purchasing of local food by public institutions. MCE will conduct a study to identify, assemble the resources, and connections needed to build the system of sourcing of products to area institutions, and thereby increase product sales and local food access for consumers. Some of the short-term impacts include an increase in farmers understanding of the potential profitability of selling locally produced food to institutions as well as for increased understanding of Fair Shares CCSA of the potential for helping member farmers reach new markets. Project staff will specifically assess the 1) demand of locally sourced agricultural products from institutions; 2) regulatory demands of farmers with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) certification training; and 3) available and potential supply from area farmers, including standardization of agricultural products in order to aggregate from farmers of various sizes, defining 10 target agricultural products area farmers can produce to meet the large volume requirements of institutions, and researching models for transportation of products and traceability back to the farmer for consumer awareness. Additionally, the study will promote the farmer narrative to institutions.

    “This funding will help us better understand how to meet market demands with local food products,” said Melissa Vatterott, Food and Farm Director at MCE.

    "MCE has taken the initiative, through the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition, to engage in conversations with us and other farmers in the St. Louis region about how to grow their farm business and reach new markets, such as institutions," says Holly Buck, owner of Rosy Buck Farm in Beaufort, Missouri. "We trust MCE to conduct the necessary outreach and information collection necessary to determine if getting our practices into institutions would be best for us, and the region."

    As the St. Louis region thinks about its response to extreme weather events from climate change, such as increased flooding, and its dependence on drought-prone places like California for its food supply, local food provides opportunities for gains in environmental sustainability, nutrition, and public health.


    For more information, visit www.moenvrionment.org/.

    ###

  • STLFPC Member Organizations

    The St. Louis Food Policy Coalition is a group of stakeholders who represent organizations, businesses, farms, local government, and other entities that either 1) work to advance at least one of the core values or 2) work in the counties that the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition supports. The STLFPC functions as a formal multi-stakeholder entity.

    Coalition Allies

    Coalition Allies are organizations and individuals that have declared in writing, either by mailed letter or email communication, that they support the mission and vision statements of STLFPC and offer to provide resources to further the STLFPC’s goals, such as informational materials and support at events. Coalition Allies do not need to be willing to participate in grassroots lobbying or advocacy activities but they are welcome to participate in work group meetings as they see fit.

    Board of Advisors

    Advisors are individuals sought out by the Director, either with or without recommendation by other coalition members, that demonstrate particular expertise necessary to further the goals of STLFPC and who cannot participate in work groups given their geographic location, work schedule, or other conflict. The Director calls on the advisors for input, feedback, or other forms of assistance as needed.

    Work groups

    Steering Committee members and individuals in the community with related expertise and interest will come together to form workgroups to advance a policy or collaborative project initiative. The Steering Committee determines which initiatives the Coalition will lead and workgroups will be formed to take action on those initiatives. One or two Chairs will lead each workgroup and the role of Chair will be filled by a Steering Committee Member.

    Community Member Involvement

    STLFPC welcomes and encourages community members to join a work group, become a Coalition Ally, or attend public community meetings. Additionally, residents of North St. Louis interested in advancing strategies to address healthy food access in North St. Louis are encouraged to connect with our Food Equity Advisory Board. Email Food Justice Organizer, Tosha Phonix, for more information at tphonix@moenviron.org.

    Without the involvement of individuals who live in the communities we seek to support, we cannot ensure that our strategy and projects will benefit those communities. Thus, STLFPC finds it essential to support the involvement of community members and arrange our meeting times and spaces accordingly to maximize the involvement of interested community members.

     

    Current Coalition Members

    Matt Schindler, Gateway Greening

     

    Leslie Bertsch, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist

    MU Extension in St. Louis County

     
    Debi Kelly, Horticulture and Local Foods Specialist
    MU Extension in Jefferson County

     

    Ryan Albritton, Sprouthood 

     

    Trina Ragain, Operation Food Search

     

    Sara Hale, Fair Shares CCSA

     

    Lindsey Motto, EarthDance Farms

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Brian DeSmet, Fair Food Network

    Bonnie Harper, One STL

     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Clare Higgins, Urban Harvest STL

     

     

     

    Lucas Signorelli, STL MetroMarket

     

     

     

    Rev. Audrey Hollis and Steve Hollis, United People Market

    Ellen Barnidge, Saint Louis University School for Public Health and Social Justice

       

    Gibron Jones, Holistic Organic Sustainable Cooperatives (HOSCO)

     

    Erica Willams, A Red Circle

     

     

     

     

    Rachelle Bartnick, American Heart Association

     

    Dana Giboney-Wallace, St. Louis County Health Department

     

     

    Craig Schmidt and Melba Moore, St. Louis City of Health

    James Forbes and James Hillis, Good Life Growing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Becky Reinhart, DeSales Community Development

     

     

     

     

     

    Preston Walker, Eat Here St. Louis

    Clara Steyer, Washington University Office of Sustainability

     

     

     

    Kelly McGowan, Gateway Region YMCA

     

     

    Denise Evans, Slow Food 

     

    North Newstead Association, Matthew Moore

     

     

     

    Individual Members

    Lynn Peemoeller, Food Systems Planner

    Jenn DeRose, Program Manager and Communications Specialist for the Green Dining Alliance

     

     

     

    Current Coalition Allies

     

    Miranda Duschack, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension

     

    Jenny Connelly-Bowen, Community Builders Network

     

     

     

    BJC's Healthy Schools Healthy Communities

     

    City Greens Market

     

      

     

    For more information about how you or your organization can be involved in the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition, contact MCE Food and Farm Director, Melissa Vatterott, at mvatterott@moenviron.org or by phone at 314-727-0600, ext. 111. 

     
  • Help MCE Improve the Interactive Local Foodshed Map!

     

    Click here to further explore the Interactive Local Foodshed Map! 

Login Form