The Alaska Food Policy Council recently awarded its first Food Hero awards at its semi-annual Food Festival & Conference. The awards were presented to Kyra Wagner of Homer for her individual contributions to Alaska’s food system and to the Tyonek Tribal Conservation District for its Tyonek Grown project and other efforts to strengthen the food system in Tyonek.
The AFPC also presented governing board member Diane Peck an award for outstanding service to the organization.
According to AFPC Governing Board member Nick Moe, the awards were given to one individual and one organization based on work they have conducted over the past 18 months. Awardees demonstrated a substantial impact on Alaska’s food system, transformed an aspect of their community’s food system, and made a difference for Alaska’s prosperity, health and self-reliance.
“If you are visiting Homer and interested in local food systems, chances are you will connect with Kyra Wagner. Wagner writes an article weekly on the Homer Farmers Market during the season, organizes high tunnel tours and gatherings of farmers, and writes a weekly Sustainable Homer newsletter that lists activities that build local resilience,” wrote AFPC in a press release.
“Kyra is a role model for food advocates around Alaska and has made a huge impact on the local food system in Homer,” according to Moe. “Her work perfectly exemplifies the Alaska Food Policy Council’s mission of improving our food system in a prosperous, healthy and self-reliant way.”
The TTCD’s Tyonek Grown Program operates a 1.5 acre farm using organic methods, with two high tunnels and solar powered irrigation and ventilation systems in the Native village of Tyonek. Youth in the Tyonek community learn about all aspects of farming and learn to enjoy healthy, locally grown foods. Much of the produce they grow is distributed to Tyonek elders.
AFPC Governing Board member Danny Consenstein praised TTCD’s focus on conservation and community.
“Tyonek provides a model for what other villages and conservation districts could do,” he said.
Peck is a dietician with the Obesity Prevention Program at the Division of Public Health and helped found the AFPC through that program. AFPC Coordinator Samantha Ford said that “Diane’s ability to bring people together has been instrumental in growing the AFPC. We are so proud to honor her with this award.”
The Alaska Food Policy Council is an independent statewide organization that works to strengthen the state’s food system for the benefit of all Alaskans. For more information about APFC visit akfoodpolicycouncil.wordpress.com or like the Alaska Food Policy Council on Facebook at www.facebook.com/akfoodpolicy.