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AHA improves the health and well-being of Wake County residents by facilitating and supporting community initiatives.

Perspectives (June 2015)

Sara Merz, Director

Sara Merz, Executive Director

Happy summer! I hope you are finding and enjoying all the fresh food our region is producing. This month I am making a plug for new members to join the Capital Area Food Network (CAFN). CAFN’s mission is to cultivate healthy lives, communities, and economies through vibrant food and farm systems. 

The Capital Area Food Network is the result of an 18-month planning process, and the first CAFN members began meeting in January. I’m pleased to serve with this group, which is now accepting applications for new members interested in finding solutions and creating a resilient and sustainable food system.  Some interests of current members include:

  • Local entrepreneurship and food
  • Hunger and food access
  • Healthy people and environments
  • Sustainable farming
  • Urban agriculture
  • Strengthening distribution options to get locally grown food from farmers to consumers
  • Desire to create a robust local food system

More than a few people also have mentioned loving to grow food, and the pleasure of cooking and eating together! Bring your own passion and interest to the table. We welcome your involvement.

We could use the following skill sets, among others:

  • legal expertise
  • strategic planning experience
  • public service experience
  • urban planning
  • food science
  • agricultural and land use skills
  • soil and water management/conservation
  • environmental expertise
  • knowledge of nutrition
  • farming experience
Members of the Capital Area Food Network at a recent meeting.

Members of the Capital Area Food Network at a recent meeting.

I share this comment from a fellow Network member about this call for applications:
“CAFN is seeking those who share a desire to not only become more involved in their local food system, but are eager to take an active role in building the network. The ideal addition to the team would be someone who wants to find solutions around food-related issues such as access, justice, policies, infrastructure, farming, and food entrepreneurship, and who wants to take an active role in bringing people together around these issues.  You’re aligned in CAFN’s desire to use food as a tool to create more health and well-being throughout our neighboring communities, are an entrepreneurial thinker by nature, and enjoy highly collaborative work.”   

Please consider applying if you have time to contribute meaningfully to be part of this dynamic team building the Network and local food systems. Currently we have multiple teams and are using a dynamic governance model, which allows for a large number of participants to work on what they care about while still making it possible for the group to function efficiently.  Network members can expect to contribute 4 to 6 hours/month (more if you are drawn), actively participate in 1-2 meeting per month, and engage in work outside of meetings. Some CAFN members serve on multiple teams and choose to spend more time. Please share this invitation among friends and colleagues.

Applications are due July 15, (with notifications by August 15.) We are planning a half-day retreat (September 24, 1-5 p.m.), which will serve both as an orientation for new members and an opportunity for all members to create a strategic plan together.

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