Address: 408 Marine Street, Suite D, Sitka AK 99835
Areas Of Expertise:
Distribution / Hubs
Farm to School
Farm to Table
Health & Nutrition
Marketing / Social Media
About Us / Sitka Local Foods Network History: The Sitka Local Foods Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit group promoting the growing, harvesting, and use of local foods in Sitka, Alaska.
Our group got its start at the 2008 Sitka Health Summit, where Sitka residents get together to pick a couple of community wellness projects to work on for the next year. That year two of the projects dealt with increasing access to local food — starting a market where people could buy local produce and fish, and planning and building a community greenhouse and education center. We held our first market within 2 1/2 months of the summit, and we're still working on the community greenhouse (land availability is a problem). We also have coordinated or supported other local foods-related projects, such as getting more local fish into our school lunch programs, planting fruit trees around town, building a community compost program, creating a community rental kitchen, expanding our emergency food capacity in town, and conducting a community food assessment to give us baseline data about food security in Sitka.
Sitka, Alaska, has some unique conditions surrounding local food. The City and Borough of Sitka is more than 4,000 square miles (bigger than Rhode Island and Connecticut combined), but our townsite is just 15 miles long with mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. We are an island community in rainy Southeast Alaska without any roads connecting us to other communities, you have fly in or take a boat to get here. We also don't have any real farms, which means we import about 90-95 percent of our food from the Lower 48 or other countries. This is not sustainable or food secure. An earthquake or tsunami could take out our harbors or airport, leaving us without access to food.
We have increased Sitka's local food capacity in several ways. We created St. Peter's Fellowship Farm (a communal garden that supplies our farmers market and other programs), started a gardening education program, and promote subsistence.