At Local Food Alliance, we believe that local and regional food is the most powerful lever of change for the individual, economic, and environmental health of the Wood River Valley.
As a backbone organization, Local Food Alliance plays a crucial and often behind-the-scenes role in driving our local food movement. The backbone support that we provide to farmers, restaurants, schools, organizations, businesses, and individuals helps create the change needed to achieve a resilient local and regional food system.
Changing our food system is no easy feat. But it is critical to combat local and global problems including obesity and diabetes, food insecurity, animal mistreatment, environmental degradation, and climate change.
The mission of Local Food Alliance is to educate, connect and collaborate with individuals, organizations, and businesses to bring locally and regionally grown food to our community.
In 2012, LFA co-founders Ali Long and Stacy Whitman came together over a mutual desire for fresh wholesome food in Blaine County schools. While Stacy was interested in getting more carrots in cafeterias and classrooms, Ali cared about where and how the carrots were grown. In 2013, they teamed up to start Local Food Alliance.
Through our initiatives, LFA works to identify, develop and facilitate effective solutions for our community. As we increase demand for locally and regionally grown food, we simultaneously strive to make it more available and accessible for residents of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.
As part of our effort to increase local food access, LFA works one-on-one with local restaurants, hotels, institutions, and organizations to encourage and facilitate purchasing from regional farmers. Through our annual Wood River Valley HarvestFest event and Local Buying Guide, we connect farms to consumers with the goal of bringing more fresh local food to your plate.
In 2015, LFA helped plant the seed for Blaine County Food Council, a grassroots group made up of representatives from Local Food Alliance, University of Idaho, The Hunger Coalition, St. Luke's Wood River, along with local farmers, legislators and nutrition experts.
In 2018, LFA began working with Ken Meter, founder of Crossroads Resource Center and a 20-year food system analyst, to develop a Food System Strategic Plan for the Wood River Valley. Through a collaborative process involving key food system stakeholders, we will identify feasible solutions and build the business plans to bring them to fruition.
Children & Schools are a priority area for LFA. To help provide local kids with fresh, wholesome, locally sourced meals, we helped intiate and launch the valley's first two farm to school programs.
In 2017, thanks to our efforts, more than 150 Wood River Valley children enjoyed 13,440 wholesome scratch-cooked lunches sourced directly from local and regional farms.
In 2014, LFA helped start the Hemingway FarmRai$er, a local foods fundraiser that raises thousands of dollars each year for Hemingway STEAM School and our local and regional food producers. As a result of this initiative, students now sell fresh-picked Idaho apples, organic veggies, local honey, and other homegrown foods and products instead of wrapping paper and candy produced in far parts of the world. In 2017, the Hemingway FarmRaiser had its most successful year ever, with more than $29,000 in total sales - $13,000 of which went to community food producers.
In 2016 and 2017, Local Food Alliance helped send teams of Blaine County educators to the Edible Schoolyard Academy (ESY) in Berkeley, Calif., to learn how to implement edible education and farm to school programs in Blaine County schools. Our ESY grads are currently using the lessons learned through the ESY program with children at Syringa Mountain School, Community School, and The Hunger Coalition's Hope Garden.
Served to Wood River Valley students in 2017
Through one annual Hemingway FarmRai$er
From 15 local farms at last year's HarvestFest
In everything we do, we seek to connect community members to our local and regional food system. We want everyone to know who grows, prepares, delivers, serves, eats, and rescues our food. This knowledge helps empower children, families and individuals to make food choices that are healthy for themselves, our community and the planet.
Each month, our newsletter is filled with news and resources from the frontlines of the local food movement, along with seasonal recipes, fun foodie events and Local Food Hero profiles. We alert the public about farm to table dinners, gardening and cooking classes, food-related lectures, films, and more through our online Local Food Event Calendar and social media.
Our two annual Wood River Valley HarvestFest events - The Elevated Table and The Taste Tour - serve as opportunities to connect our community and visitors from near and far to the Idaho farmers who provide us with the freshest, most nutrient-rich and delicious food available.
In 2016, we joined foces with with Sun Valley Institute (SVI) in an effort to harness our collective power and expand our reach. SVI advances resilience via policy leadership, public engagement and targeted investments for economic prosperity, environmental protection and human well-being in its home community of Idaho’s Wood River Valley and to serve as a resource far beyond.Learn More
We love working together to create a resilient local and regional food system.
At Local Food Alliance, we believe that more can be accomplished when people work together. As a backbone organization, we engage multiple stakeholders—local farmers, businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, community food providers, and consumers—to procure and foster more effective solutions for our valley.
We aim to drive system-level change in our local community and beyond. We are committed to both proactive and responsive solutions that benefit people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds.
We provide a backbone of coordination for local organizations, enterprises and individuals working toward common health, economic and environmental goals.
We engage multiple stakeholders —local farmers, business owners, schools, non-profit groups, community food providers, and consumers—to procure and foster more effective solutions for our Valley.
Our aim is to “connect the dots” to create greater efficiencies and to further existing efforts toward a healthy local food system.
We want everyone to know who grows, prepares, delivers, serves, eats and rescues our food. This knowledge will help empower children, families and individuals to make food choices that are healthy for themselves, our community and the planet.
We raise money for projects with the potential to strengthen our local food system and improve community health.
We currently have more than 12 initiatives flourishing in our community that support our mission.
Your contribution will support our projects (farm-to-school food, edible gardening, food financing) and our community education and outreach (Local Food Event Calendar, film screenings, newspaper columns, local impact investing workshop). Contact Ali to learn more.
We need volunteers to help us put on our local events, distribute food, or work with schools. Contact Ali or Stacy if you'd like to be added to our volunteer list.
From cooking and canning to graphic design and photography, your skills can help further the effort to create a healthy local food system in the Wood River Valley. Contact us if you have a particular skill that you would like to contribute.
We'd love to hear from you! Use our contact form on the left or, if you prefer, send an email or even a letter.
There are many ways to support our work and make a difference, from making a financial gift to volunteering at our annual Wood River Valley HarvestFest events.
Local Food Alliance
c/o Sun Valley Institute
P.O. Box 5569
Ketchum, ID 83340