The Colorado Farm and Food Alliance (CFFA) has released the New Local Food Action Maps to support Colorado businesses for pandemic and economic recovery. Covering the Atlantic headwaters of three major rivers, the latest Local Food Action Maps are the first released across the Divide. These public tools, developed using Google Maps, depict where residents and visitors can buy local, eat local, drink local, and act local, within regions organized around river basins.
Director of the Colorado Farm and Food Alliance, Pete Kolbenschlag explained “Spending money in local businesses that also have a commitment to sourcing their ingredients and products locally, helps your neighbors and it helps our communities. It increases the health of a region’s foodshed too. We hope that these maps are just the starting point for Coloradans and visitors to buy, eat, and drink more locally.”
CFFA is making the maps available to the public and any who wants to share them. The Local Food Action Maps are organized primarily by river basins, and each includes local food markets (and certain on-farm sales); local drink producers and tasting rooms; restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops that have a commitment to serving local products or using local ingredients; and, organizations working on food access and supporting the local food economies.
The release shows foodsheds in the San Luis and Upper Rio Grande, Upper Arkansas, and Upper South Platte valleys, and are the latest additions to the series.
The counties included in the Rio Grande/San Luis Valley map are Saguache, Rio Grande, Mineral, Conejos, Costilla, and Alamosa counties. The counties on the Upper Arkansas/Upper South Platte include Lake, Chaffee, Fremont, Teller, and Park.
Previous maps have covered western Colorado river basins including the Gunnison, Lower Dolores, Upper and Central Colorado, and the Green and Yampa basins. The release of these maps is the first set to cover areas east of the Continental Divide. All the maps are available online to view here.
“The maps are meant to help people find great food and to support Colorado businesses and communities,” said Kolbenschlag. “When people buy local, they help keep Coloradans employed and provide a market for local producers too.”
CFFA supports strengthening the connections between local businesses, and between local producers and area consumers. This builds more prosperous communities by supporting local jobs, area farms and recirculating money in the region. This past year has shown many people just how important those connections can be. CFFA believes supporting local businesses, and local businesses that support local farms, grows more resilient communities, and that benefits everyone.
While COVID has been devastating to the restaurant industry, it has also helped many people learn just how vital local food and local community is during times of crisis and disruption. With a new season here continuing to support and prioritize local business and local food will help Colorado communities and businesses bounce back more quickly and will make local communities more resilient to face the future.
The Colorado Farm & Food Alliance supports a thriving farm and local food economy that supports producers and workers, strengthens community, and that increases food security. CFFA invites businesses and organizations submit their information to be considered to be added to the maps as they develop and update their maps. Click here to view the form.
Manager of the Alliance’s Secure & Resilient Foodsheds program, Killian Rush said “The Colorado Farm and Food Alliance sees the important role our farms, ranches, our restaurants and markets, and diverse organizations play in creating vital communities. We want to help them get their quality products to consumers, and we want to pair up conscientious consumers with businesses that have a commitment to their local communities.”
The Colorado Farm and Food Alliance invites participation from a variety of organizations and businesses. Click here to learn more.