As part of Vision Together 2025’s initiative, the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health and 20 other community partners participated in the Local Foods Local Places workshop that took place October 1-2, 2020. This opportunity was made possible through the Local Foods Local Places Technical Assistance program facilitated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and project partners. The workshop focused on building and strengthening institutions and partnerships to advance our local food systems, increasing access to food and nutrition resources, implementing place-making best practices, and building a more resilient community food system in Johnstown. The workshop was held as a series of seven virtual sessions to create a community action plan around local food and place-making.

Participants worked together in group brainstorming and action planning around the following four community workshop goals:

  1. Improve coordination between community partners to advance food system initiatives.
  2. Increase access to local foods that promote improved health outcomes.
  3. Introduce place-making best practices to enhance Johnstown as a destination for living,
    working, and visiting.
  4. Help connect food entrepreneurs to resources to establish and grow their businesses in

Workshop participants included representatives from The United Way of the Laurel Highlands, JARI, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Pasa Sustainable Agriculture, PA Farm Bureau, PA Farm Link, NAACP Johnstown, Valewood Farms, Cambria County Backpack Project, Johnstown Area Heritage Association, Sandyvale Memorial Gardens & Conservancy, Greater Johnstown School District/Communities in Schools, PA Department of Agriculture, St. Vince De Paul, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, Penn State Extension, local farmers, and more.

*Local Foods Local Places meets on a quarterly basis. If you would like to be added to the calendar invites, please email us at

Building and strengthening relationships between food distributors and those who need better access to healthier foods is a priority of the Local Foods, Local Places initiative in Cambria County. With this goal in mind, the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health collaborated with 40 local stakeholders, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (The Food Bank), Aetna Foundation, and 1889 Foundation to create a Local Food System Coordinator Position for Cambria County.