Seacoast Eat Local Sows Seeds for Growth and Change
Seacoast Eat Local is pleased to share exciting news with you. Our organization is expanding, and we have you to thank. We are thrilled to announce two important new hires joining Seacoast Eat Local to help us continue to expand our efforts to connect the Seacoast community with local food. Your support for our local food community helped us achieve these milestones this year:
Expand our SNAP/EBT token program to a total of six summer farmers markets in 2015, providing a record number of SNAP recipients with access to fresh, healthy local food this summer.
Realize an 80% increase in the amount of SNAP tokens and Market Match fruit and vegetable coupons redeemed at summer farmers’ markets
Glean and donate over 6,000 pounds of fresh local food to area food pantries
Publish the ninth print and online edition of our 36 page Seacoast Harvest food guide, an indispensable resource about local food sources
Launch our ninth Winter Farmers’ Market season on November 21st, 2015
Accomplishing these milestones has taken a tremendous amount of work by a limited number of staff members and a dedicated network of volunteers. As we developed plans to grow and strengthen existing Seacoast Eat Local programs and lay the groundwork for new projects, we recognized that the time was right to add two important full-time roles: a Director to lead our work and to manage our development efforts and a Program Coordinator to spearhead our three major programs. We are thrilled to announce that after a rigorous search, we found the ideal individuals to join the organization in these important leadership roles. This team will increase our outreach to existing and new audiences, expand awareness of our work, spread the story of our mission, and help us tackle even more in the future.
Jill Hall will join Seacoast Eat Local as our first Director of Programs effective October 26, 2015. In this newly defined position, Jill is responsible for the operational success of Seacoast Eat Local and will be the key external face of the organization in the community.
Jill brings a breadth of professional experience and education background. From her work of the past three years as 4-H Youth Development Program Coordinator in Strafford County to AmeriCorps VISTA Service and Activism Initiatives Coordinator, Jill’s accomplishments demonstrate both her ability to work with a variety of stakeholders and community partners. Her commitment to advocacy and education surrounding issues of local food security and availability matches well with Seacoast Eat Local’s mission to connect people with sources of locally grown foods and to advocate eating locally for the health of our environment, community, culture, and economy.
Jill joins our Program Coordinator, Shelly Smith, who joined Seacoast Eat Local in June. In this role, Shelly is responsible for the marketing and programming efforts of Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP farmers market program, the Winter Farmers’ Markets, and Seacoast Harvest food guide. Shelly has been doing a fantastic job keeping the SNAP program running at all six markets, expanding outreach to SNAP recipients, and initiating plans for the upcoming Winter Farmers’ Market season. She is looking forward to having Jill on board to lead this mighty team of two.
Thank you again for your support of Seacoast Eat Local’s work to strengthen our local food community and to connect consumers, farmers, food producers, and chefs. Our work is possible because you care about what you eat and understand the importance of a strong, vibrant local food network. All of us at Seacoast Eat Local look forward to bringing you progress updates as Jill and Shelly settle into their new roles. We want to hear from you, too, about the impact of our work in the community.
At Seacoast Eat Local, our mission is to connect people with sources of locally grown food and to work for a sustainable local food system that supports the health of our environment, community, culture and economy.