The 2015 Walker County Food Providers Appreciation meeting was opened with prayer by Reverend Dennis Culbreth, pastor of First Baptist Church, Jasper. Chris Nuss, Priority Group Chair, had each attendee introduce themselves and their organizations. Appreciation was expressed for the volunteer service of those in our community who work to end hunger. Emphasis was also placed on networking and aligning resources to promote healthy food access throughout Walker County.
The agenda was designed to provide information about resources that can help community partners to promote healthy food access through existing programs. Paul Kennedy, President of the Walker Area Community Foundation and a representative of one of the four Health Action Partnership Anchor Organizations, gave an overview of the Walker County Health Action Partnership (HAP). Chris Nuss introduced the HAP website, highlighting the Food Provider Database map. The website can be used by partners and community members to find vital information about healthy food. Deb White spoke about the services available through the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. The Community Food Bank is piloting several programs in creative ways to reach people with healthy food. These are models for Walker County as well.
A new program was introduced by Thomas Martin, Pastor of Hope House Church. The mission of the Loaves and Fish Food Truck is to provide food access to people throughout Walker County, specifically children and senior adults. They are interested in partnering with other nonprofits and churches to create access where it is needed. Finally, Becky Persons informed the attendees about all of the services and opportunities available through the local Walker County Office of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Door prizes were sprinkled throughout the meeting, including plants, a gardening basket, Daniel Plan book and a gift certificate to Son’s grocery.
The reception that followed the meeting provided an opportunity to visit vendor tables, gather information and network with new partners. Everyone enjoyed the food provided by a valued partner, Johnny Brusco’s. Participants were interested in the food access map for Walker County, but would also like to have a printed version of the database to distribute to their cliental and those who do not have access to the internet. They are looking forward to working together through the year and to next year’s event.