The Food and Growers Association of Laughery Valley and Environs held its annual meeting, with the theme "Celebration of Local Food" Sept. 20 at The Butcher Shoppe Bar and Grill at Walhill Farm. Fresh local produce and meat were on the menu.
President Kathy Cooley told the 50 attendees about the group's accomplishments over the past year.
"FGA was highlighted in the report ‘Hoosier Farmer: Emergent Food Systems in Indiana’ .... Indiana's food industry is experiencing changes. Bloomington has a booming farmers’ market. It started there, and now people all over Indiana seek to see the farmer and where their food comes from. Over 100 communities support farmers’ markets.”
A food safety workshop and growers’ seminar, along with a farmers’ market breakfast and kids’ day were also held in Batesville.
"We have a very active school garden program. We now have gardens at six schools. It's an incredible way to get kids excited about food.” She announced several area restaurants, Batesville High School and Margaret Mary Community Hospital's employee cafeteria are serving local produce and/or meat.
Cooley thanked MMCH, which "has been very supportive of FGA since its inception. It looks at this as a health promotion.”
Looking to the future, the president stressed, "We have big goals and few people. We hope to get more folks serving on our board, and we're working on getting grant money.”
Sister Marge Wissman and Anne Baran gave an update on the Batesville Area Ministerial Association Food Pantry. Wissman explained why people come to the pantry.
"Sometimes they come into a one-time problem, like their place of work closed down for a week ....
“Most clients who do come to us do have jobs. The problems may be their hours were cut, they're making minimum wage or had to take off for medical problems. Some have husbands in the military. Some come because they just lost their jobs. Some come because they have mental or physical problems and are unable to work.