The Community Action Plan for Johnstown’s Local Foods, Local Places initiative is now available to view here.

As part of Vision Together 2025’s initiative, the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health and several other community partners planned and participated in the Local Foods, Local Places workshop that took place October 1-2, 2020. This opportunity was made possible through the Local Foods, Local Places Technical Assistance program facilitated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and project partners.

The workshop focused on building and strengthening institutions and partnerships to advance our local food systems, increasing access to food and nutrition resources, implementing place-making best practices, and building a more resilient community food system in Johnstown. The workshop was held as a series of seven virtual sessions to create a community action plan around local food and place-making.

Participants participated in group brainstorming and action planning around the following four community workshop goals developed by the Johnstown Steering Committee:

  1. Improve coordination between community partners to advance food system initiatives.
  2. Increase access to local foods that promote improved health outcomes.
  3. Introduce place-making best practices to enhance Johnstown as a destination for living, working, and visiting.
  4. Help connect food entrepreneurs to resources to establish and grow their businesses in Johnstown.

Workshop participants included representatives from the United Way of the Laurel Highlands, JARI, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Pasa Sustainable Agriculture, PA Farm Bureau, PA Farm Link, NAACP Johnstown, Valewood Farms, Cambria County Backpack Project, Johnstown Area Heritage Association, Sandyvale Memorial Gardens & Conservancy, Gtr Johnstown School District/Communities in Schools, PA Dpt of Agriculture, St Vincent DePaul, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, Penn State Extension, local farmers, and more.

Next steps and implementation plans will include those stakeholders listed above and will be unfolding over the next several months. Stay tuned!