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South Carolina Food Access Summit Afternoon Workshop: Strategies for Building Local Capital Where it Seems to be Missing!
What exactly is ‘Capital’?
“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, feed him for a lifetime”
Unless… He doesn’t have a net, a boat, access to the water… True “capital” enables productive activities
Ecological Capital and the Economy Historically, natural capital has been overused and undervalued, leading to high rates of degradation and low wealth accumulation in rural communities.
Capturing that wealth requires capital
Essential to treat Soil as capital Increasing farm productivity and nutrient density of foods AND fighting climate change
“Repurposing” old tobacco greenhouses to create income
Community canneries • In SC, from two dozen in ‘ 70 s to ? one
ACEnet’s Food Ventures Center, Athens, OH
Farmers Markets as Community Capital. Abingdon, VA: 8000 pop; 2000+ customers, 50 vendors
Does local food = Improved eating and health? • New Orleans farmer market survey: 83% of customers stated that FM had changed the way they shop (Union of Concerned Scientists) • Lower income shoppers who’d come to market because of incentives were more likely to return to buy fruits and vegetables (Racine), and continue buying produce at farmers market after incentives ended (Shumacher)
St Paul, VA: 974 people, 19% below poverty; $25 K median income… and 16 farmer vendors
New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, Manufactured home loan program
Land Banks – Syracuse, Atlanta, Louisville, Flint
Community Benefits Agreements