The Health Equity Research Collaborative (HERC) is an on-campus initiative that awarded several seed grants to faculty with the goal of establishing new productive partnerships between community health organizations and WSU researchers.
- Kitsap Food Landscape Assessment
This mapping and assessment project led by Laura Ryser, Assistant Professor in Food Systems & Community Development, measured social and environmental factors that influence how and where a person purchases food throughout Kitsap County.
Download the full Kitsap Food Landscape Assessment here.
For more information contact Laura Ryser email@example.com or (360) 228-7310.
- Kitsap Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) Coalition:
This is a group of community organizations working together towards an environment that supports equitable access for all to choose physical activity and foods which contribute to health and well-being in Kitsap County. Visit the Kitsap HEAL website for more information.
- Tofa Saili (to study):
A collaborative partnership with Fetu Ti’ala Project and led by Joy Lile, Ph.D. The purpose of the partnership and seed grant is to assess and provide recommendations on how to improve the lives of Pacific Islander families by narrowing the academic and achievement gaps for PI students.
Food Systems Projects
- Opportunities for Values-based Supply Chains on the North Olympic Peninsula Feasibility Study
As a regional food systems specialist, Laura Ryser worked with Extension colleagues to assess the viability of coordinated production and processing of vegetables for small-scale farmers on the North Olympic Peninsula. Opportunities for the centralized aggregation, processing, storage, and distribution of produce for commercial consumption and noncommercial consumption by area residents were explored. After determining that a larger scale, infrastructure heavy approach to processing and aggregation was not feasible given limitations with both supply (scale of current production) and supplier interest and capacity, it was determined that focusing on smaller-scale, targeted value-chain investments and business assistance for farmers could achieve similar goals to grow the agricultural sectors.
- Kitsap Fresh Online Marketplace
From 2015-2018, Laura Ryser worked with local farmers and food advocates to create Kitsap Fresh, Kitsap County’s first farmer-led cooperative dedicated to coordinating a year-round, weekly online marketplace that sources food from over 100 local farms and food businesses, aggregates the food into customer boxes, and distributes the food throughout the county. WSU Extension was awarded a USDA Local Food Promotion Program Grant to assist in all aspects of Board and operations development, distribution logistics, food safety protocols, community outreach, and marketing.
- Kitsap Food Policy Council
From 2015-2018, Laura Ryser participated in the Kitsap Food Policy Council, an advisory body to the Board of County Commissioners. The Council was made up of a dozen multi-sector stakeholders who contributed to the development of over 40 food policies that were incorporated into the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update.
- Regional Food Policy Council
From 2015-2018, Laura Ryser was a member of the Regional Food Policy Council, facilitated by the Puget Sound Regional Council. Aimed at developing just and integrated policy and action recommendations that promote health, sustain, and strengthen the local and regional food system, the Council engaged and partnered with agriculture, business, communities, and governments in the four-county region of Snohomish, King, Pierce, and Kitsap. This Council held many public forums on several food policy topics and worked to gain recognition of the “local food system” as a component of the 2016 Regional Economic Strategy.
- 2017 Kitsap County Local Farms & Food Profile
Click thumbnail to view infographic