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Local food committee to launch film series, discussion

WILLMAR -- Local organic food as economic development will be the focus of a film and discussion Thursday, hosted by the Kandiyohi County Food System Steering Committee.

The event, which is open to the public, is from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building, in the lower-level meeting room. Participants are asked to bring their own lunch.

The film, "Organic Opportunity," tells the story of Woodbury County in Iowa, which successfully developed policies and strategies to support a locally grown food economy. It is the first in a series being offered by the steering committee to spark discussion and inspire action on issues ranging from local foods and food safety to industrial agriculture, farm economics and healthful eating.

Last year, the food steering committee held focus groups to gather information on local assets and challenges for access to food. The group also is doing a community assessment of the local food system.

The group's goal is to ensure that all residents of Kandiyohi County have access to healthful foods at all times.

Partners are the Willmar Area Food Shelf, Kandiyohi County Public Health, Steps to a Healthier Minnesota-Willmar, Mid-Minnesota Regional Development Commission, Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, University of Minnesota Extension, Heartland Community Action Agency and University of Minnesota West Central Partnership.