By Pauline Benetti
President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.”
And Thomas Jefferson also stated that “A nation, as a society, forms a moral person and every member of it is personally responsible for his society.”
At the local level, this means participating fully in local and civic opportunities that strengthen the community.
One such opportunity is to vote on projects that strengthen our local food system. Our local Archuleta Food Coalition was awarded $20,000, which it decided to distribute through a participatory approach to decision-making. It instituted a process called participatory budgeting. Basically everyone who is in high school and older, and who lives in Archuleta County, works in Archuleta County or whose kids go to school in Archuleta County is eligible to vote on projects.
The projects came from ideas generated in the community about how to enhance the local food system. This means that local individuals and institutions have been working hard to develop proposals that could be turned into viable projects.
And so we need the good citizens of our community to vote on these projects. Voting will be held virtually during the week of Nov. 14-22. All you need to do is register to vote at https://www.foodcoalition4archuleta.org and you will receive all necessary information allowing you to vote for the four projects that you think should be funded with the grant money. Consider now which of these projects you feel supports a healthy local food system and addresses the question of food equity.
This project is being led by a community member. The project aims to provide backpacks full of snack and meal items once a week to students that ride the bus from Pagosa Springs to Dulce, where some 25 families have currently enrolled their children in the Archuleta School District. This food is to provide nourishment to children that are riding the bus. The food will be distributed in reusable tote/freezer backpacks and the food items will include macaroni and cheese, apple sauce, canned meat and fruit.