May 10, 2021
We are honored to have received the following letter of support from the Oregon Department of Human Services Supplemental Nutrition Program. This support is in direct relation to our work in food systems via the Rockwood Food Systems Collaborative and the soon to be launched Sunrise Farmers Market. This market will provide new systems and opportunties for BIPOC, immigrant, and refugee growers to have direct access to sell their produce – all with the end goal of attaining better health outcomes, equity, and prosperity for Oregon’s poorest and most diverse region.
Here is the letter of support, in full:
The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) in
Oregon fully supports the Community Development Corporation of Oregon (known as the Rockwood
CDC) for funding though the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) offered by USDA
To intentionally expand SNAP and better reach low income BIPOC communities, we recognize the
need to support community-based efforts such as the Rockwood CDC’s support of local and regional
producers, vending spaces, and culturally specific outreach and marketing. To best increase access to
culturally specific foods at farmers markets and support growers that may not have access to the
business infrastructure needed to receive SNAP funds, deliberate efforts such as this pilot project are
Rockwood CDC and the coalition it formed; the Rockwood Food Systems Collaborative aims to attain
better health outcomes, equity and prosperity for Oregon’s poorest and most diverse region. Despite
the bustling metropolis, Rockwood is home to some of the best growing conditions in the nation.
Rockwood is also home to The Sunrise Farmer’s Market. A market in its infancy as it unfolds in its first
year. Support of this new market would allow a co-op of under-resourced growers from a variety of
ethnic groups to produce food for thousands of hungry families from many backgrounds.
Often, farmers markets premium costs and unrecognizable foods are limiting access for BIPOC
communities. The BIPOC community, particularly immigrants and refugees, may struggle to sell their
produce to typical market patrons. The Rockwood CDC project will support the development of skills
among members of marginalized communities and increase opportunities for BIPOC vendors to
compete in higher end farmers markets.
With the submission of this letter, ODHS is agreeing to support the program by promoting the program
in ODHS offices including outreach material for SNAP recipients and connecting this vital work with
our SNAP Outreach and Nutrition Education plans.
The Oregon SNAP Program supports your application for maximizing the funding through this grant
request and commits to strengthening our ongoing partnership.