If you look back at your last meal, do you know where your food came from? If the answer is 'no', you are not alone and Mikel Bowyer with ICT Food Circle wants to help the Wichita community change this status quo!
Mikel's dream became a reality via the Civic Hackathon put on by Open Wichita (the next event is less than a couple weeks away; click here for more info!). His company includes an online directory of farmers within 150 miles, with the goal of connecting consumers to the people that provide the food they eat. The website has listed individual products including: chicken, produce, & even local craft businesses & restaurants. Each category then lists different farmers that supply the product, their website, & a phone number to contact them directly. Once you have spoken to the source, you set up the method in which to receive the food, whether it be driving out to the actual farm or meeting them at the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning.
The main event for Mikel & ICT Food Circle is a Farmer Festival scheduled for October 8th, so mark your calendars! New information is posted on their website as plans are being finalized, and there are opportunities for volunteering, sponsorships or being a vendor. Mikel & his team are very excited for this family-friendly event because it brings the community together and promotes local business. He loves the idea of teaching our kids about eating whole foods and the healthy lifestyle that it encourages. What better way to improve the health of the future than to start education at a young age!
Another project in the works is a downtown marketplace for the public that includes grocery, a restaurant & also live entertainment. The Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita found the massive impact we can have on the Sedgwick county economy if we dedicate 5% of our food consumption to locally produced. The very small percentage equates to over $50 million each year; what an impact! Here is a Wichita Eagle article that includes the highlights of the study.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
If you have never heard of this concept, which I hadn't until I started researching ICT Food Circle more, you should look into it. To summarize, it's a mutually benefical relationship between a consumer & farmer whereby the consumer purchases a 'share' in exchange for weekly produce or whatever the product may be. Local Harvest explains it better on their page.
Check ICT Food Circle out for yourself!!