Category Archives: Government

Skagit Reads “Closing the Food Gap”

Mark Winne's Closing the Food Gap - Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty (c 2008)

Mark Winne’s Closing the Food Gap – Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty (c 2008)

The book “Closing the Food Gap – Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty” is Skagit Libraries community reads book for the month of October.  It involves everyone in reading, discussing, debating and analyzing the same book.

In this case, the book is about food, health and social policies that have shaped the way we eat, work and live.  Skagit County’s economy is very dependent on agriculture.  There are 1074 farms in Skagit County according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture though that number has decreased since 2007.  But there is an active effort to encourage fresh, safe, sustainable and healthy food crops for all of our residents by various agencies, small farms, small distribution, processing and retail sales businesses.

Author, Mark Winne’s book describes his career as a community food activist dedicated to improving social policies that advocate healthy fresh meals especially for those whose incomes make it hard for them to afford.  It includes a history of food programs for the poor as they evolved – both governmental and non-profit – with discussion of what works and what hasn’t. He will be visiting Skagit County – dates tba.

Pick up a free copy of the book at your local Skagit library and join in on the discussion at our several scheduled events!

Skagit Reads event schedule updates

Food Day, October 24th, 2014 is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.

Skagit Reads Schedule of Events

Skagit Reads Schedule of Events




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Filed under Adult programs, Food, Government, Health

Getting to the Washington Health Benefit Exchange

The dust has settled —

For those of you who don’t have health insurance and have not yet taken advantage of the savings made possible by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), make sure you are on the right website:  Check the bottom of the page to make sure the health insurance site you are reading says “Powered by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. Washington Healthplanfinder™ is the official ACA-compliant health benefit exchange for the State of Washington.”  Start with the Washington State Insurance Commissioner’s website and follow the links it provides to get to the exchange.


The library has computers for you to use if you need access to the plan information.  Feel free to use them; staff can assist with navigating the options available to you and if you decide to, create an account.  Regardless of whether you use our computers or your own, use, which can refer you to a qualified navigator or trained broker to help with your decision. Meanwhile, the library is open Monday – Thursday until 11 – 8 pm, Fridays and Saturday 11- 5 p.m. if you need an extra computer to do it on your own.

Other helpful links include articles from the November issue of Consumer Reports.  It is one of the clearest, most practical explanations of how this new legislation may or may not affect you. The Library has a print and online subscription, and you’ll need your library card to read it online.  Or drop by the library and we can help you find it.

Need some more information?  Here are some helpful general sources you can try:


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Filed under Government, Health, Washington