Come learn about the RBAC’s Food Innovation Center project at the next town hall, on March 12th from 6-8 at a location TBD. This will be an opportunity for you to give input which will help determine the direction of this ambitious project.

The Food Innovation Center has three possible business models, food storage, food processing or vocational training–each with its own strengths and weaknesses. RBAC is looking to determine which model best supports community growth in terms of health, food access, job development and cultural assets. RBAC wants the project to at least be able to sustain itself, if not help fund the building.

At the Town Hall, community members will get four stickers, each color representing one criteria: health, food access, job development or cultural assets. They will put their stickers on the board next to one of three projects they feel best meets the criteria.

The first idea is having a cold storage facility. Local farmers who work with RBAC on the seasonal farmers market in the Ethiopian Community Center parking lot could store their produce there until it could be sold. Then, RBAC could begin, “renting out a large part of that to the market to bring revenue to the project,” says David Sauvion, the food innovation district strategist.

The next idea is for RBAC to bring in an anchor organization for a food processing program. Businesses could learn from locals about the proper preparation of certain ethic food specialties of the Rainier Beach, including curries, injera or sambusas. It’s about, “How can we get them to commit to take the know-how from this community and hire locally and train people to work within their company.” says Sauvion.

In the third model, an anchor organization would offer vocational training in the space, aimed at getting people jobs in the food industry.

Come to Town Hall to help guide this exciting project!