In an agricultural area of the state, residents of Spokane County spend only 2% of their food money on goods produced regionally. The goal of Friday’s food economy conference is to brainstorm ways to boost local food revenues.
Real food. That’s the focus of the Power of Our Regional Food Economy 2013 Conference. In its first year, it’s a pet project of City Council President Ben Stuckart’s.
Spokane County has more than 2,500 farms. The region contributes more than $886 million to the economy. But data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Revenue show more than 43% of area farms earn less than $1,000 annually.
Stuckart says the goal of the conference is to educate people on how to support local farms. Economist and local food system expert Ken Meter will give the keynote address, explaining how Spokane can grow its regional food industry by supplying to local restaurants, hospitals, and schools.
The Food Access Coalition of Spokane County will host the event, in partnership with ten other organizations including the city of Spokane and the regional health district.
Stuckart plans to use the event to kick off a Food Policy Council, which will undertake a goal of increasing Spokane’s regional food consumption from 2% to 10% by 2020.
The event is Friday from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Riverpoint campus. People can find more information and register atwww.realfoodspokane.org.
Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio