The “Foothills” refers to the rural area of eastern Whatcom County, which is home to roughly 9,000 people in a geographic region spanning approximately 620 square miles. The USDA classifies the Foothills as a “food desert,” meaning that it is a low-income area and that at least 33% of the population lacks adequate access to retail sources of food.
In November 2014, sixty individuals representing local residents, farmers, businesses, non-profits, funders, and government agencies gathered at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center for the Foothills Food Summit. The purpose was to share information and create partnerships among community leaders with a common interest: that all Foothills residents are fed, nourished, and have the resources to access the food they need. A full report of the Foothills Food Summit is available on the Foothills Food Bank website at www.foothillsfoodbank.org.
The Foothills Food Access Plan reflects the research, community input, and discussion of visions and strategies from the Summit. The Plan provides a framework for community action, highlighting the services, facilities, and programs that will help improve food access in Whatcom County. This Plan is a working document, which will evolve as we learn what works, and as new partnerships and innovations emerge.Foothills Food Bank Food Access Plan