The La Plata Food Equity Coalition is enhancing health equity for La Plata County BIPOC, Senior, and Rural Residents through healthy food access and shared community leadership
All residents in La Plata County will have agency over their health, access to nutritious foods, and the ability to affect social change
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement
The La Plata County Food Equity Coalition cultivates spaces for underrepresented communities to gain power and create meaningful solutions to food inequity. The coalition recognizes the systemic oppressions and inequities that face these communities in La Plata County. We strive to break down these barriers through understanding differences to build power, confidence, and leadership within Indigenous, Black, LatinX, Disabled, Senior, and geographically isolated communities.
The Coalition's story
Did you know that 11% of residents in La Plata County experience food insecurity? That means that nearly one in ten of your neighbors does not have access to the food that they need to support their health and well-being. The problem is even more concentrated within our BIPOC, Senior, and rural residents. The La Plata Food Equity Coalition formed back in February 2020 to really begin to explore how we, as a county community, can ensure that everyone has equal opportunity for health, or health equity, vis a vis access to healthy food. As part of an equity approach, our efforts are focused on addressing the needs and building the power of those residents and communities most chronically and deeply impacted by food insecurity and health inequities through deep partnership and empowerment of these individuals and communities.
The Coalition is a multi-cultural, open community that creates a space for any interested member in the community to engage in food systems, health equity, and food justice programs and activities.
Coalition meetings serve as a place where the myriad activities and ideas are shared in search of feedback, improvement, and/or partnerships; It is also a space where new ideas can emerge, a forum for discussing and evaluating progress, and a welcoming environment where anyone can express, and/or help to fill, newly emerging needs and gaps.
The coalition works on a systems-level to facilitate long-term, sustainable change. Workgroup actions involve participation and leadership by affected community members, revolving around increasing healthy, local food access, supporting BIPOC and immigrant-owned food enterprises, and making community organizations, businesses, and resources more culturally accessible to all of our community residents.
The Good Food Collective serves as The Coalition’s Backbone Organization, providing administrative, resource, and ‘on the ground’ support for every aspect of the coalition.
The Coalition is an open community that creates a space for any interested member in the community to engage in food systems and food justice activities. Coalition meetings serve as a place where the myriad activities and ideas are shared in search of feedback, improvement, and/or partnerships; It is also a space where new ideas can emerge, a forum for discussing and evaluating progress, and anyone can express and/or help to fill newly emerging needs and gaps.
The coalition is a collective of passionate individuals representing an array of local organizations, including the healthcare, government, and emergency food assistance spheres, local farmers and food systems stakeholders, and impacted community members.
The four workgroups are comprised of La Plata County residents and are led by community facilitators, with back-end support from the Coalition’s Project Weaver.
La Plata County Food equity
Life has taught me that we must work to build equitable societies, one day I had abundant food on the table and in the evening I did not have a single bread for dinner, that moral has marked my life because you do not know what circumstances the future holds for you. Equitable systems help all communities, especially those that are disadvantaged, have opportunities for growth and well-being.
The Food Equity Coalition has allowed me to work on this life mission, to think and act to eliminate so many inequities and injustices. I know we have a long way to go but I am sure that we are helping the change that is needed in something.
Lady Carolina Diaz Ovalle
Community Voices Workgroup Co-Facilitator
Rachel first fell in love with food planting potatoes in her family's garden. She has since turned her potato crush into a personal passion and a professional avocation. As the Director of the Good Food Collective, Rachel works with over 80 partners to build an intact and just regional food system in Southwest Colorado.
She is honored to bring her knowledge of food systems, extreme love of organizational development and project management, and commitment to build greater representation and inclusivity within our regional food system to her role as the La Plata Food Equity Coalition Project Weaver.
Erin has worked with non-profits starting as a college student in Environmental Studies. Pursuing causes she believes in has landed her in various roles in cooking and nutrition education, hunger relief, organic farming and affectionately known as the "food lady". With a knack for community building and a strong passion for food equity, Erin is honored to be working with La Plata County Food System & Health Equity Coalition as Food Access Facilitator.
food access Workgroup Facilitator
I am a person that life has taught me to share, with a thought that we are all equal and we all have the right to have housing, work and decent food.
When my daughter was born I made the decision to change my eating habits for healthier ones, but I found the difficulty of not knowing where to go and what is healthy food, I love the idea of learning more about our nutrition and help the community to have a healthier food on their table. I love to serve those in need, I love to talk and laugh out loud.
Community voices workgroup facilitator
Special projects Coordinator
Tomas has always had a love of food and helping others. He is a Certified HeartMath® Trainer and Health Coach creating a foundation of skills and techniques based on over 25 years of scientific evidence-based research to increase performance and resilience. Tomas is currently undergoing certification in the Functional Medicine approach to Nutrition, Mind-Body Medicine, and Positive Psychology with the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. He is also a Board Member with Manna Soup Kitchen. Tomas is on a lifelong mission to improve the health and well-being of the Planet and all of its inhabitants. Being part of the La Plata Food Equity Coalition is a clear path to doing that right here at home!