Food security and the security of community

Cultivating Community Advocates announces food-security mini-grant program; the ethics of water use; and the power of one’s Facebook community

My beloved blue-and-yellow Wike trailer is back!

My beloved blue-and-yellow Wike trailer is back!

Photo By tina flynn

Increasing food security
Sue Hilderbrand, program coordinator for Cultivating Community Advocates (CCA)—the new organization within food-access education group Cultivating Community NV—sent me a press release about CCA’s 2013 Food Security Competitive Grant Program. The program offers mini-grants to chosen applicants as part of a larger Specialty Crop Block Grant from the California Department of Food & Agriculture.

“The CCA Food Security Competitive Grant Program will offer three rounds for funding, totaling $120,000 over a period of 2.5 years,” says the press release. “The Spring 2013 funding cycle will award up to $40,000, with a maximum single award of $10,000 and a minimum award of $3,000.”

The purpose of the grant program is “to encourage food localization and to support food security within the Butte County farming area, and specifically within communities with historic barriers to access,” such as those with language, income or documentation barriers. Community members “who face systemic difficulty accessing the resources, information and skills needed to … grow, sell, buy, prepare [or] preserve” healthful food are encouraged to apply for the mini-grants.

A free and open-to-all-potential-applicants grant-proposal workshop will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at the Independent Living Services Center (1161 East Ave.). The deadline for submitting an application is March 1 at 5 p.m. Go to for a full description of the grant program, application requirements and rating criteria.

The ethics of water use
A recent press release from Butte Environmental Council advocacy consultant Nani Teves announced the upcoming free forum, “Ethical Issues and Water: An Interfaith Dialogue,” which will take place on Feb. 5, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., in Chico State’s Colusa Hall, room 100B.

“CSU, Chico’s Book in Common Group and Butte Environmental Council invite the public to a forum … focus[ing] on the spiritual and stewardship issues that surround water, including water as an element essential to all life, as a human right and as a contentious public-policy issue in California and beyond,” the press release says.

Chico State religious-studies professor Bruce Grelle, attorney and water-issue mediator Marty Dunlap and Buddhist writer Lin Jensen are among the speakers at this event.

Last, but by no means least
As a number of people already know, my bicycle trailer—a large, blue-and-yellow special-needs trailer (pictured) that I purchased from Wike, a Canadian bike-trailer company (go to to learn more)—was stolen from my south-Chico front porch sometime late Monday night, Jan. 21, or early Tuesday morning, Jan. 22. I quickly put out an alert to my email contacts and on Facebook. It wasn’t long before Denise Kelly, the owner of the Plant Barn on Entler Avenue, Facebooked me to tell me that she had spotted my trailer (one of only two of its kind in Chico) going south on the Midway, being towed along with another bike trailer by a man on a bicycle. She called the Chico Police Department; I filed a police report; numerous Facebook friends posted my announcement on their Facebook pages (and a number of them also offered to donate money toward a new trailer).

On Tuesday afternoon, I received a phone call from local musician Marne Bass, who was in possession of my bike trailer (minus its special hitch and other parts) after taking it back from a guy at Community Park. Like I said on Facebook, Marne is my hero. And so are all the other folks who helped (like musician Jim Williford, who transported the trailer to the safety of his house), as well as those who offered donations. Thank you so much.