“Community” and “connection” are two of Niki Timm’s favorite words. The founder of Central Oregon Locavore, whose mission is to connect local farmers with consumers, Niki says, “My passion for supporting the local farmers stems from the fact that local food is the ultimate cause. Everybody eats. Everybody needs access to nutritious, sustainable, and secure food supply. I don’t think that everybody realizes that yet, but when you come down to all the causes that people rally around, the environment, access, social justice, humane treatment of animals, anti-GMO, local economics, they ALL come down to local food and supporting local farming, ranching and food production.”
Niki grew up in Bend eating local produce and drinking raw milk. She calls local farming the ultimate cause because, as a trained nurse, she knows health and nutrition. “I have been a registered nurse for over 10 years and have seen the amazing effects that a nutrient-dense, healthy food diet has on human health. I don’t think that it is talked about enough by the medical community.”
When she came back to Bend, where she was born, after nursing school, she realized that what made her the happiest was “creating community surrounding positive change and action…a community working toward making the world a better place for future generations.”
Niki is a huge believer in communities of every kind. She remembers: “As a kid, Bend was much smaller and a very close-knit community, I felt like I knew everybody. As the town has grown, it has brought in not only more people, but much more diversity, culture and opportunities that did not exist before. I still think that we can create connected, supportive community within a town that is transforming so rapidly.”
Niki’s biggest goal is to help greater Bend realize how important and sustaining a local focus can be. “I would like to see natives, near-natives and new-comers alike come together to really support each other. By that I mean make a conscious decision to go a bit out of your way to go to a locally owned shop vs chain store, even though the chain store is cheaper and more convenient. If we all did that, can you imagine how this town would flourish? The farmers would be thriving, the artisans happy and creating beautiful things. It would be really cool.”
In addition, as a nurse Niki wants to help people “to take a step back and look at their base lifestyle and food choices and how they can overcome health challenges by changing the food that they put into their body vs treat symptoms caused by lack of a healthy diet.”
And, Niki wants Central Oregon Locavore, with its support and education programs, to survive. She has started a GoFundMe page to raise $25,000 this summer to keep the organization’s doors open, and they have reached over $19,000 in support so far. “We moved in 2016 and in combination with the harsh winter, we just haven’t been able to recover. We just began a GoFundMe fundraising campaign to get us back on our feet. So far the community has been super supportive and I am so grateful. We have a bit more to go, but I think that we will get there!”
To support Central Oregon Locavore go to https://www.gofundme.com/locavore.
To shop at Locavore or explore its programs for kids, eaters, and farmers, go to http://centraloregonlocavore.org/
Thanks to Niki for showing us how a Bend native can bring home a passion to improve Bend’s community! If you want to be profiled in Go Local Bend, or want us to profile someone else, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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