SPEARFISH — An advisory council for Spearfish Local, a new initiative of Black Hills State University, was formed recently at a summit hosted by the university in partnership with the Wellmark Foundation.
The summit, funded in part by a $24,800 grant awarded by the Wellmark Foundation to BHSU, included workshops for children and adults, as well as a dinner for the public made from locally grown foods. Through its 2014 Healthy Communities small grant program, the foundation received 112 grant requests from various organizations seeking support for smaller community health projects. This grant award to BHSU represents one of 19 competitively awarded grants across Iowa and South Dakota to establish pilot efforts or expand upon current community health initiatives.
The advisory council will work closely to manage Spearfish Local, a new initiative that aims to better connect everyone in the Northern Hills region that grows, sells, or eats local food and other products.
The advisory council members come from various backgrounds within the local food economy, including retailers, producers, dieticians, and more. Members chosen to serve on the advisory council include: Dawn Habeck, Trish Jenkins, Rebecca Dorsett, Carrie Gray-Wood, Katie Greer, BHSU sustainability coordinator, and Rachel Headley, BHSU Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics liaison.
The advisory board will meet with the community on a quarterly basis to address challenges in the regional food supply.
“Spearfish Local will work with food producers from the region to supply the community with healthy, locally grown food,” said Headley. “This grant from the Wellmark Foundation will allow us to educate the community on the importance of a well-rounded diet and support our local producers.”
Over the next year, BHSU will hire nine student interns throughout the Spearfish community and with local producers, providing more than 1,350 hours of support for shared Spearfish Local goals.
“Spearfish Local is an initiative that will help the public to incorporate a healthy diet into their lifestyles,” says Stephanie Perry of the Wellmark Foundation. “The Wellmark Foundation is pleased to be partnering with this great organization that will boost the local food economy for the Spearfish region.”
For more information on Spearfish Local, contact Headley at (605) 323-9650 or Rachel.Headley@BHSU.edu. For more information regarding the Wellmark Foundation and its grant programs, contact Teresa Roof at (515) 376-5869 or visit www.wellmark.com/foundation.
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