The FSC-GNV met on October 19 2021. The topic of this meeting was Economic Development & Supply Chain Initiatives. Contact information for the attendees below may be provided upon request. Please email foodsystemscoalitionGNV@gmail.com for assistance connecting to FSC-GNV participants. To download and share these meeting notes, access the PDF version HERE.
|Karissa Raskin||Civic Collaboration Supervisor – City of Gainesville; Facilitator of FSC-GNV|
|John Nix||Local Famer; Energy Engineer – ACPS|
|Miranda Carver Martin||Independent Community Member/Volunteer/Consultant|
|Kathleen Pagan||Senior Planner in Growth Management Dept. – Alachua County|
|Matt Mueller||Director of Food & Beverage Services – University of Florida|
|Mia Jones||Children’s Trust of Alachua County|
|Brandy Stone||Civic Collaboration Specialist – City of Gainesville|
|Candi Morris||Alachua WIC Program|
|Bakari McClendon||Tallahassee Food Network / GNV Resident|
|Chanae Jackson||Community Activist|
|Heather Vecsey||Alachua County Department of Health, SNAP Ed., Paths to Purpose at UF|
|Shannon Regan||UF Food Systems Institute, President of Strong Roots Movement|
|Amya Ellison||UF Student, Our Climate Cohort Fellow|
|Melissa DeSa||Working Food|
|Elizabeth Cayson||Community Engagement Coordinator – Children’s Trust of Alachua County|
|Meg Boria-Meyer||Gainesville Giving Garden|
|Meg Thelosen||Working Food, First Magnitude|
|Kari Dooley||Associate Director of Business Development – Chartwells Dining at Compass Group USA|
Partner News and Updates for October 19 2021
City of Gainesville
- Joint City County Food Systems Policy Board
- Meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 5:30pm. They are posted on the City and County website and on the FSC website.
- Foodshed Map – UF Geoplan has been working on a Foodshed Map with Alachua County that will highlight producers, processors, growers, retailers, etc. This map gives us an indication of resources in the county and well as where the gaps are in our local food system. Karissa to request UF Geoplan to come to FSC to present about this project.
- Thank you to FSC members on providing information for the development of map!
- Food Waste Recovery and Reduction Initiative
- The City will be rolling out Zero Waste Ordinance in the coming years. Within that, there will be a robust section on food waste. Karissa and team along with the Repurpose Project and Zero Waste Gainesville are working together to engage stakeholders. First, they contacted non-profits who are recipients of the food and local businesses who will be required to donate food to follow EPA food recovery hierarchy. For anything that is still edible, the expectation is that food-generating businesses divert to food pantries to feed those who are hungry.
- This is set to roll out in 2022 for business who generate more than 1 cubic yard of food waste a week.
- We have a survey available now to gather information from pantries to understand the challenges they face in terms of capacity and the additional areas of support they may need with a potential influx of donations.
- One of the biggest concerns noted so far by the food pantries has been infrastructure. The team is hoping to have donations of refrigeration units and storage units to get to non-profits to support their operations. We are happy to help source donations to non-profits in need.
- Currently working on a survey for small food-generating businesses to better understand barriers to donation and their current practices around food waste. The plan is to train student volunteers to conduct the surveys with small businesses.
- MEANS Database is an app that assists with connecting food donors to recipients. They will be a partner with us as we work through the food waste diversion roll-out.
- Comment – Large food generators (grocery stores, institutions, etc) will be first affected in the roll-out of the ordinance so hopefully the diversion methods and models they use can be beneficial for the smaller businesses when their phase comes. Also, one of the biggest concerns with the diversion process is finding space to repack and prepare as well as volunteers to do so and distribute. Where in the community can this be done? A local food hub would be a great place for this in the future.
- Identifying some commercial kitchens in the community for the preparation and repacking would be helpful. A suggestion was brought up in previous stakeholder meetings to utilize kitchen space in Catholic Schools, as they close early in the day and have appropriate facilities. There is student volunteer interest in doing this work. Pairing with nutrition education students could be really beneficial.
- There was a recommendation to speak with the Director of Catholic Charities for use of the school space. This would likely a good partner that could also benefit from the repackaged food to support their pantry operations.
- Bread of the Mighty could be a partner but they are at capacity with their space. They applied for city and county ARPA funding for an expanded facility.
- The need for space shows the benefit of a dispersed model to have multiple partners throughout the city to support the diversion operations from multiple sources.
- Working Food space depends on current use and the duration of need. The freezer space is at capacity. Some fridge space available. Potentially could be one of many partner non-profits for space.
Alachua County Public Schools
- Farm to School –
- FAMILY, FUN, AND FIELD DAY – Saturday, November 13th from 10a-2p, at the Farm to School Hub. The event is an opportunity for local families to learn more about our food system, about the farm to school program, and engage in healthy activities for families.
- Good Food Purchasing Program –
- Have arranged a meeting between the ACPA produce distributor and GFPP staff. First ever meeting for GFPP with a distributor. This meeting could address supply chain issues – where food is coming from. What are the values of the companies who provide the food?
- ACPS does an amazing job with Food and Nutrition Services. Please highlight and celebrate the work being done in meetings when you are able. They are providing jobs, healthy food, and security for local farmers.
UF Food and Beverage Dining Contract
- Received 3 strong bids so far. Many of the proposals had focus around continuing to include local vendors and businesses at an increased level. They are looking to increase local purchases especially within the state of Florida. Some things included in bids are exceeding original expectations of Dining Services.
- The contract decision will likely be made by the end of January.
Alachua County DOH
- SNAP Ed grant was renewed
- SNAP Ed Education has been virtual up until now. They will soon be hosting In-person education sessions at City of Alachua Community Center education on SNAP resources.
- DOH is hoping to partner with and support community garden work in the future.
- Comment – Asked if they were connected to Jeannie at BOTM who does SNAP Ed. Also, community partner pantries have expressed interest in nutrition education at pantry and for clients who visit pantry through the Food Waste Diversion Initiative. If there is any education that Alachua DOH has, we welcome that conversation.
Food Systems Coalition General Announcements
- If you have any updates for the website, please send to Miranda and Karissa within the next week.
- Compensated Community Website Review process still has 4 slots for people to participate. Please send anyone who is interested to Miranda.
- Ask to develop editorial standards for the website to ensure that information is consistent and the processes used are intentional. We want to make sure the information is accessible and inclusive and works to address the disparities member organizations focus on. If anyone is interested in getting involved more in the website, please let Miranda know.
- Soon FSC will have a presentation by a UF PhD student and his advisor on a Food Hub Feasibility Study. The presentation will likely be in January. The project demonstrates the feasibility of a Food Hub in Alachua County.
- Conversations in the background are occurring around expanding the Farm to School Hub, especially with donated land.
Strong Roots Movement
- Strong Roots Movement works with underserved youth centers in Gainesville. They provide traditional nutrition education, and produce for children to bring home to their families.
- Their work is highlighted on their Instagram account, @strongrootsmovement.
- Currently looking to establish the organization (now a student group) as an official non-profit 501 c3. This status is needed to for funding.
- They are currently working at Girls Place and Porters Community Center but cannot expand without additional funding.
- Comments –
- Gainesville Giving Garden offered to support Strong Roots Movement in that process.
- Working Food also recommended that teaming up with current 501 C(3) non-profits and work under them to support organizations who are also doing the work already. This could be easier, as new non-profit organizations are a lot to take on. Overall, it reduces the administrative burden and allocates resources in a more aligned way that focuses on collaboration as opposed to competition in the community.
- Suggestion to look at what their organization is doing and what other organizations are doing to see if any align. Strong Roots Movement can ask a “parent” nonprofit to allow them to do-business-as (DBA) under their 501c3. Typically in this situation, there is continuity between organizations in terms of what they are doing.
- Alachua County is working on increasing equity within county programs. Students recently spoke to the County Commission about getting more involved. This could be a potential opportunity for a meeting to discuss Strong Roots Movement in equity work with gardens.
- Keep Alachua County Beautiful is looking for people to work with them. Gina Hawkins is a great resource for guidance in running a non-profit.
Gainesville Giving Garden
- Small urban garden that works to grow food for local underserved families.
- Located near Cypress and Grove Brewery
- Supporting families who have currently left shelter.
- More information can be found HERE.
- Youth Gardens
- Excited to be getting back into gardening with kids. They had to be virtual during COVID, so it is great to get back out in the garden with the kids and getting their hands dirty.
- While Clarence R. Kelly is under-construction they had to move the youth gardening over to the Duval community garden. This engagement as reinvigorated that garden and increased participation from neighbors. There is now inter-generational engagement happening.
- Heritage Seed Collective
- Saving and sharing lots of seeds and working to expand that network.
- Other Programs/Events
- Partnered with Chef Carl from Underground Kitchen– Successful online cooking classes through COVID and will continue to offer online cooking classes to the kids.
- Classes and pop-up events with children to continue.
- Pumpkin Pop-Up Event – November 20th is the 2nd annual event. There will be a tasting of 6 local pumpkins. Local vendors will be showcasing the pumpkin made in multiple ways. The event will be held at the Working Food site outdoors across from Cypress and Grove.
- Community Kitchen
- Slowly reopening.
- Part-time staff member was hired to assist with the coordination.
- They have a new cheese guy, a baker, and a women-led meat producer utilizing the space currently.
- Farmer’s Market – Director has communicated that the goal is to get it up and running next year. It will continue to be a seasonal thing on a Friday.
- Hoping to have FMNP coupons available and to get someone involved that is able to take EBT/SNAP.
- Comment –
- Florida Organic Growers (FOG) provides EBT/SNAP booth services if there are funds available to support that. Volunteers may be able to cover it for a reduced fee.
- FOG helped out in the past and it wasn’t consistent. Because of this, they had to turn people away that wanted to use FOG.
- FOG hoping to build out volunteer training program to get regular staffing of events. Potential for interested students to be trained as volunteers.
- Need for more communication and outreach messaging to increase awareness about the market, as there is a need by people don’t know it is there.
- Foot traffic from seasonal events could lead to an increased want for more consistent markets. Opportunity to partner with BOTM to provide food for those in the future.
- Need for more education around Fresh Access Bucks. Could be good to have at the market.
- Question – Can gardens where older youth are growing food sell at the Farmer’s Market? Would be a great way to encourage economic development.
- Community gardens on city-donated land – legal stipulation that any profits made from the garden have to go back into the garden.
- In the past, they were given approved vendors options on a list because of the FMNP coupons needed April through October.