According to most reports the industrial food system creates 1/3 of all green house gases. These gasses are contributing to climate change that has been having, and will continue to have, devastating effects on the planet's climate stability. Increased ice melting will lead to sea level rise, and climate instability causes droughts, flooding, increased storms and hurricanes and other forms of destructive weather. One way to combat this destructive cycle is to grow organic foods on small farms that feed our local communities.
In our community, what is needed is increased local processing that allows local farmers to add value to their products. We are providing a licensed commercial kitchen space that also enables local entrepreneurs to incubate small businesses that can be locally sourced. CLiCK therefore isn't just addressing local economic development through the practice of social justice and a commitment to co-operative values, but is also putting the concept of 'just sustainability' into practice by making local food processing and business incubation a reality for those who might not be able to afford their own commercial kitchen / restaurant. In the days to come, there are only benefits in investing into local food production; not only does your community improve, but you can see the health benefits inside your household. That’s why CLiCK is here both for the benefit of individuals, the local community and the world.
Mission: Grow, Cook, Share
To grow the vitality of our economy and community by offering shared use commercial kitchens to farmers and culinary entrepreneurs seeking to create food-based businesses; and to improve the health of our local community by teaching gardening, culinary arts, nutrition, and other food-related classes.
CLiCK began in 2009 after local residents and members of the Willimantic Food Co-op holding a strong interest in food and sustainability discussed the idea of a shared processing kitchen and ways to better serve farmers in the Windham area. The initial impetus for CLiCK was to provide local farmers a place to process their goods so as to add value to their raw materials. If a local farmer can turn tomatoes marked as seconds into salsa, then this adds greatly to his/her initial investment, while also reducing the carbon footprint of that salsa by having it processed locally. CLiCK’s funding began with a pilot grant from the Access Community Action Agency as part of their poverty reduction program. As a result, CLiCK expanded its vision to include addressing issues of poverty through many other aspects of food. CLiCK seeks to target underserved populations including low-income seniors, children and youth, new parents, those with food related illness (obesity, diabetes, celiac, high cholesterol…etc) and anyone else who seeks to improve their nutritional and/or culinary knowledge.
- Self- Responsibility
- Ethical Values
- Social Responsibility
Community Engagement Includes:
- Outreach at Fiddleheads Co-op Cooperative event
- Willimantic’s Annual Chocolate Festival
- UCONN’s College of Agriculture
- Natural Resources Cornucopia event
- and much more!
In 2013 the CT Department of Agriculture estimated that only about 1% of food bought in CT is actually grown in the state. Therefore they set a goal to bring this amount up to 5% by 2015. Key to this effort is not just a greater production on the part of CT farmers but also an increase in the number of places where farmers can process their goods or have their goods processed for them. CLiCK is prepared to play a vital part in this CT Department of Agriculture initiative by being the first available processing kitchen in Eastern CT. Additionally, in helping to meet this goal, CLiCK is playing a vital role in the shift from a very unsustainable global food system that is socially and environmentally destructive, to one that is just, locally based, sustainable and healthy for all.
- Willimantic Food Co-op
- Access Community Action Agency
- UCONN’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
- ECSU’s Institute for Sustainable Energy
- UCONN’s Engineers Without Borders