WASI's mission is to help reduce basic resource insecurity by helping to localize the food and energy systems with sustainable and "people-powered" solutions.
Our stated mission is: to build community-wide sustainability, resiliency, and connections while at the same time reducing basic resource insecurity by helping to localize the food and energy systems in the Wichita area through education, training, resource creation, and charitable programs.
Targeted Programs Designed to Offer Sustainable Solutions
Although WASI's mission is broad, our programs will be designed to be very targeted and provide a sustainable solution while at the same time building community--all to combat scarcity. Please visit our Overcoming Scarcity page to learn more about WASI's theoretical approach.
Feeding The 5000 Program
After being granted its 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in August 2014, WASI is now focused on launching its first program. Feeding the 5000, as originally envisioned, consists of building off-grid aquaponic greenhouses for churches and neighborhood nonprofits to run. This vision is being pursued and is in the design phase right now. But, because this project is such a large one, the decision has been made to create a much smaller prototype that can get aquaponics out and operating in the community faster. Please watch WASI's Facebook page as this small prototype project is developed enough to begin offering details.
To learn more about our Feeding the 5000 program and why WASI has chosen aquaponics as a sustainable urban agriculture solution, please click here.
We Can Do Better, Together!
The picture drawn by data informs us that scarcity is affecting our community.
--"Wichitans face 44 square miles of 'food deserts' in low-income areas" http://www.kansas.com/2013/10/07/3045959/low-income-wichitans-face-44-square.html
--In Sedgwick County, nearly 1 in 4 children (22.6%) are food insecure. http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/our-research/map-the-meal-gap/2011/ks_allcountiescfi_2011.pdf
The consequences of food insecurity in childhood can be dire: "adversity and poor health in childhood can lead to higher rates of chronic diseases in adults, such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and various forms of cancer, as well as depression, anxiety disorders, addictions, and other mental health impairments." (p. 2)
--"Wichita is last among the nation's largest cities in environmental livability."
Wichita Eagle 10/5/11 updated article "Environment study ranks Wichita last" http://www.kansas.com/2011/08/06/1963857/environment-study-ranks-wichita.html
--The good news is, we can rebuild our local foodshed, together. If you're not a local sustainable food grower, you can aim to support those who are, "The economics are clear as well. According to a report from the Health & Wellness Coalition using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sedgwick County residents spent just over $1 billion on food in 2012. If just 5% of those were local food purchases, an estimated $54.6 million would circulate through the county each year." (p. 2) http://hwcwichita.org/content/upload/files/Food%20Systems%20Assessment%20Report%20-%20December%202015.pdf
--Our local food system was dismantled after World War II. (We dropped from over 120,000 Kansas Farmers producing food for their communities to just 441 in 2012. See pages 17 and 18 of Kansas Rural Center's Feeding Kansas Report. The link is provided below). Producing and buying locally grown food, that is sustainably grown, can pave the way for socially, economically, and environmentally just jobs in our area. To find the local food producers in our area, please visit ICT Food Circle's online Farmer Directory http://ictfoodcircle.org/.
--Thank you Kansas Rural Center (KRC) for your ground breaking November 2014 report concerning our State's food system. Your years of work for a sustainable farm and food system provides the leadership needed to pave the way for "making healthful foods the routine, easy choice for all Kansans." Following please find the link to KRC's "Statewide Farm & Food System Assessment with a Plan for Public Action" report: http://kansasruralcenter.org/feeding-kansas/