Growing Partners of Southwest Colorado
Food Equity and Access Community Food Project
The Growing Partners of SW Colorado is a partnership of agencies and individuals working
together to support a fair, sustainable local food system that reaches all incomes, ages,
and cultures. Since 2004, Growing Partners has collaborated on food projects to increase
community food security for underserved populations in La Plata County.
In 2005, Growing Partners received a grant from the USDA Community Food Project
Competitive Grants Program to initiate and lead the La Plata County Food Assessment, the
first official community food assessment (CFA) project to be done in the state of Colorado.
Completed in 2007, the CFA identified the needs and resources of the local food system,
developed a community-based definition to address and improve food security, and
proposed a series of diverse food projects.
In May 2009, Growing Partners received a second Community Food Project (CFP)
Competitive Grant and began working on the food projects developed during the food
assessment process. The current CFP involves collaboration of over 20 nonprofits, service
agencies, and individuals supporting projects that include the Homegrown Food Retreat
and Apple Days, beginning farmer initiatives that generate new food producers in La Plata
County, farm-to-school, a gleaning and wild food program, and numerous community
and school gardens. All of these create better access to local food, increase local food
production, and assist with regional future project planning and food system work.