Building and strengthening relationships between food distributors and those who need better access to healthier foods is a priority of the Local Foods, Local Places initiative in Cambria County. With this goal in mind, the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health collaborated with 40 local stakeholders, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (The Food Bank), Aetna Foundation, and 1889 Foundation to create a Local Food System Coordinator Position for Cambria County.

“This new position, made possible by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Foodbank and the Aetna Foundation, will work with partners to carry out cross-sector food projects across Cambria County in order to support the growth of a strong, vibrant regional food environment for the next generation,” said 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health Project Manager Leanna Bird.

The new position is funded by a $45,000 grant from the Food Bank and a $55,000 grant from the Aetna Foundation through the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge. The Local Food System Coordinator will be responsible for working with local farmers, producers, distributors, food security agents, and consumers to get healthy and local foods into the hands of children and families in the area.

In October 2020, 40 community members and Cambria County leaders participated in a USDA-led workshop called Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) and worked together to develop an action plan for improving food access and food systems in Johnstown.

The Johnstown Steering Committee developed four workshop goals:

  1. Improve coordination between community partners to advance food systems 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.

Once hired, the Local Food System Coordinator will work out of the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health.

The position is now open and the posting can be found here: