Feeding Laramie Valley (FLV) began by inviting diverse individuals, groups and agencies interested in addressing food insecurity, to explore ways of working together on a common goal of localfood sovereignty, security and equity. Together, we explored ideas for innovative education, food production and distribution activities.
FLV's front line action work began with a single cardboard table at the downtown Laramie farmer's market, where sharing of high quality fresh produce (purchased at the market, grown locally, rescue from vendors at market close) was solicited for sharing with people in the community who do not have sufficient access to fresh food. The idea was to begin changing the concept of top-down charity food work into a concept of community sharing for equity.
Today, the FLV Shares program not only distributes over 7000 pounds of locally grown fresh produce each summer, we grow food, and work in partnerships with the Laramie Soup Kitchen and food banks to create agency site based gardens that produce food with participation from their constituents (i.e. food recipients help produce the food they are eating, are connecting to food origins and learning to grow it).
FLV was part of creating the first community garden in a Laramie city park, continues to develop and support additional community gardens, all of which offer mentoring to gardeners. We now call an historic Laramie building in LaBonte Park home, creating a community center for food access and equity.
We conduct education and needs assessment through community voice journalism; diverse community led advisory councils; technical assistance to group and individual food projects; advocacy for entrepreneurial local food projects through mentoring, volunteerism, internship placement; group and individual food project support through community based participatory action research, special events, leadership development and additional resources.