This year tested each and every one of us. Through these hard times, we came together- we showed our collective resilience in the face of a global pandemic. Through the ups and downs of this year, Sun Valley Institute for Resilience worked to build the resilience of our community through innovative programming, refocusing our efforts, and filling community needs.
Building community resilience takes time. It demands systemic change, which can be slow, but is the most effective way to ensure that our community can continue to thrive. We are proud of all the work we’ve accomplished this year. Here are a few highlights:
1. 2050 Food System Vision Prize: We were recognized as semi-finalists in the Rockefeller Foundation’s global call for nourishing and regenerative Food System Vision submissions. Our Food Vision was selected as one of 76 semi-finalists out of 1,309 submissions worldwide. We believe the Southern Idaho region presents a unique opportunity to radically reshape the current food production system to be holistic, interconnected, economically and environmentally resilient, and fundamentally community-driven. The 2050 Food Vision is rooted in a just transition to regenerative agriculture practices on all farm, ranch and grazing lands in Southern Idaho. We are committed to implementing our 2050 Food Vision.
2. Blaine Recovery Committee: We collaborated with more than 50 organizations and government agencies to support effective and rapid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee identifies and prioritizes challenges facing the community’s recovery, and surfaces solutions to address those needs. Our collaboration launched an online Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) in both Spanish and English to to connect informational resources (economic, physical and mental health, spiritual/faith), to community members, especially those most in need to help individuals, businesses and organizations recover- a coming together of our community, for our community.
3. Locally Grown Guide: We distributed 1,700 Locally Grown Guides (LGG) to raise awareness of our local food producers. The LGG is the Wood River Valley’s only comprehensive resource for eating local. The Guide connects locals and visitors to farms and ranches, farmers markets, retail outlets, restaurants, caterers, and special events producing and serving delicious local food. In 2020, the 45-page guide featured over 70 farm and food producer listings, local food content, and more. The LGG highlights the abundance of our region and uplifts our local food producers.
4. Online Farmers Market: We generated over $72,000 for local farmers by helping implement an online farmers market. Local farmer, Carol Rast of Prairie Sun Farms spoke to the impact of this program, “The online market helped my business by providing opportunities to reach customers and sell more products. The online market gave us the assurance that we could hold the market no matter how bad things got. It allowed us as businesses and farmers to make plans with better assurance that it would work out.”
5. 5B Resilience Gardens: We launched a county-wide collaborative to increase home food production and community self-sufficiency through sharing of knowledge, resources and food. “Our parents and students both loved the Seasonal Family Cooking Kits you provided,” exclaimed one local preschool teacher. ” The kids have been coming to school all week to give reports on their bean salsa and planting activities! What a great way for families to interact with our local food system.”