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We're happy to announce that we'll be visiting four communities in the Columbia Gorge and eastern Oregon the last week of June! We have Two-Way Street Tour community meetings planned for Hood River, Boardman, La Grande, and Enterprise from Monday, June 24th to Thursday, June 27th, 2013.I will appear (along with an as yet undecided colleague or two) at these events to provide advice about seeking grants from Meyer Memorial Trust and to collect information about the needs of nonprofits and communities in the area.
At a February Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington luncheon, I presented a session on how philanthropy can support nonprofit mergers and collaborations. Because MMT has received recent inquiries about mergers, I thought it might be helpful to explain MMT’s philosophy toward this topic. How does MMT approach nonprofit mergers and collaborations?
Usually TWST meetings happen in rural Oregon towns, but this week there were several in “urban” settings, including Gresham. This area was part of the ancestral homeland, food-gathering village sites of the Chinookan-speaking peoples of which I am descendent: The Watlala, and the neighboring Multnomah, Molalla and Clackamas peoples.
The Two-Way Street Tours are a useful way for MMT to share information about our grant programs, while also learning about community needs and priorities. They were designed as a way to connect to communities we are less familiar with. But the two meetings I attended last week were on my own streets—Eastside Portland, where I grew up and still live.
For the past year, MMT has been exploring how communities can re-create thriving local/regional food systems, particularly in rural Oregon, as a way to increase access to food, improve health and provide economic opportunity.
It's time to report on our grantees' work during the first year of our Community Food Systems Special Focus Program, reflecting on accomplishments so far and how we're working to make future efforts more informed and effective.