To connect people, place, food and farms through education and outreach.
Our vision is to create the world’s greatest regional food identity, the country’s healthiest population and use the most preserving systems to get there.
The Inland Northwest Food Network was founded in 2014 by Teri McKenzie. Having relocated to the region from Portland, OR, and fueled by a passion for community building and all things food related, she decided to apply her social entrepreneurial skills to developing a more cohesive local food system. After gathering a group of locals who were also passionate about food systems, it became apparent that there was indeed a desire for a more formal organization to help focalize existing activities and to develop still others that were lacking.
The first meeting of the Board of Directors was held in April 2014. Many hours by a small but dedicated group of volunteers went into laying down the foundation of what is now the Inland Northwest Food Network. The group decided to become a sponsored project of the Clearwater Resource Conservation and Development Council that provided the organization with legal and fiscal support while establishing itself.
In January 2015, the group held its first public event called Chew on This! The History of Food and Farming in Kootenai County, presented by historian Robert Singletary. Since then, recognizing the importance of raising public awareness of the issues surrounding our food and farming practices, the organization determined to make eater-oriented education and outreach its primary focus, with a broader vision of supporting small to medium size organic farms.
Since launching its first program in January, 2015, the volunteer-based organization has expanded its programming significantly to include its Chew on This! series, the monthly Seasonal Kitchen Cooking Classes, Drink This: Inland NW Farm to Glass, the Food for Thought Book Club, the Local Investing Program, workshops, movies, special events, as well as a website, monthly e-newsletter, and an active Facebook page! We are also proud to announce that in June 2017, we became an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization!