The FSC-GNV met on March 15 2022. The topic for this meeting was Food Access & Community Wellness. 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.

AttendeeOrganization/Role
John NixLocal Famer; Energy Engineer – ACPS, Climate Advisory Board for City and County
Miranda Carver MartinIndependent Community Member/Volunteer/Consultant
Kathleen PaganSenior Planner in Growth Management Dept. for Alachua County
Brandy StoneCivic Collaboration Specialist – City of Gainesville
Candi MorrisAlachua WIC Program – Alachua County Dept of Health
Breton HomewoodFood Systems Specialist for Alachua County – UF IFAS
Kari DooleyCompass Group Chartwells
Dehlia AlbrechtCentral Regional Coordinator – Fresh Access Bucks, UF Ph.D. Student working on Grace Grows project
Catherine StrileyDeputy Director – HealthStreet
Mia JonesEarly Childhood Coordinator – Children’s Trust
Alfredo MoralesFree Grocery Store
William Larsen
Dina LiebowitzProgram Coordinator – UF Field and Fork

What is the FSC-GNV?

Partner News and Updates for March 15 2022

City of Gainesville

  • Local Food Systems Presentation
    • Karissa presented to the City Commission on 2/24 with an update on local food initiatives. The agenda item can be seen HERE.
    • From the presentation, a motion was made that included a few points:
      • Commission adopted the staff recommendation on the grocery store project which was to wait for the policy on Unsolicited Proposals to be heard and approved by the City Commission. Then entertain new unsolicited proposals for a grocery store, should vendors choose to submit such proposals autonomously. This will allow for an equitable review of proposals. There will be no internal action for the grocery store plan, per the Commission.
        • Question: City will not be putting out an RFP for the grocery store?
          • No, there will be no internal action by the City around the project other than the development of the Unsolicited Proposal Policy.
      • Around the Food Waste Recovery work, they moved to adopt the recommendation to fund an educational campaign for businesses which may include education on source reduction, best practices for food waste recovery (including food safety), composting, Good Samaritan Act, etc. The campaign is to be developed and implemented by City staff, likely the Public Works department, as they are overseeing the Solid Waste Ordinance.
        • Question: What is the timeline for the development and rollout of the educational campaign?
          • After the ordinance is passed by the City Commission, the outreach process will begin.
      • The motion also includes looking for options to assist businesses with standardizing food waste recovery and connections to distributors.
        • Question: Does the ordinance include any language around food service workers taking meals home/eating the food on their breaks, or staff taking home extra food to reduce waste?
          • The ordinance does not explicitly state anything about staff taking food home to reduce food waste. This would likely be a decision by the individual business as to what happens with the leftover food from their establishment as they work to reduce their food waste.
          • The policy is still in draft form, so community members are encouraged to reach out with recommendations for additional items/clarification points to staff. The best point of contact would be Mike Heimbach, Sustainability Manager – HeimbachMJ@cityofgainesville.org, 352-393-7956.
    • The Food Waste Recovery/Reduction data summaries are included in the agenda item if you would like to see the findings.
    • Our team also looks forward to working with the county on the Healthy Corner Stores Initiative. We are currently waiting on the county’s plan to move forward.
  • Last week, Karissa met with local stakeholders and FDACS (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) around a large USDA grant for a statewide system of interconnected regional food hubs. This would connect local resources to FDACS. There was a positive response from FDACS in the meeting. Any questions can be directed to Karissa.

Food Systems Coalition General Announcements

  • Please submit events, volunteer opportunities, and updates to the website HERE.

Alachua County DOH Farmer’s Market

  • Farmers Market Coupons
    • Will be getting them back in the clinic! This was approved last week.
  • Farmer’s Market
    • Starting back up at ACHD (224 SE 24th St Gainesville, FL 32641) on Wednesdays from 3-6 pm during their new extended hours.
    • As of now, there is no market on Wednesdays so this could fill that gap.
    • The market is hoping to launch Wednesday 4/13.
    • Please let Candi know if there are any local growers who would be interested in participating, and spread the word through the community!
    • There will be no charge for farmers to set up here.
      • Question: Will the market need volunteer support?
        • Candi will check with the legal team to determine the ability to host volunteers.
      • Comment: This could be a challenge for farmers, as adding more markets puts a strain on their resources.
      • Suggestion: Volunteers could run the tents almost like a farm stand model where multiple local growers could bring their items to be sold under the same tent. There would need to be an inventory tracking system, but this could work.
      • Suggestion: Could we get Fresh Access Bucks going at the market?
      • Suggestion: Will need robust signage and advertising to attract people to the market. Is moving it to GTEC and partnering with the City a possibility?
        • Not at this time, only hosting at ACHD.
      • Children’s Trust is interested in partnering with the ACHD for the market.

UF IFAS – Family Nutrition Program

  • Fred Cone Park community garden
    • FNP is partnering with City to host education and programming on-site. This will include the FNP education model and supporting garden maintenance.
  • New staff
    • All staff in the office is new. Please reach out if there are any opportunities to partner or you have a request for the use of FNP services.
      • Comment: Field and Fork would love to partner around nutrition.
      • Question: Could FNP host cooking demos at the new ACHD farmer’s market?
      • Breton to follow up with Dina and Candi about partnerships!

UF Field and Fork Farm

  • Open House
    • Field and Fork Farm will be hosting an open house on 4/23 from 4-6 pm
    • The event will include researchers and students demonstrating their work with the garden.
    • The new building and greenhouse will be unveiled as well.
    • There will be mustard tasting available to attendees and a tree planting demonstration.
  • Three Sisters Garden
    • On March 27th-28th a visiting Native American garden will be working with the Native American Student Organization to plant a Three Sisters Garden.

Free Grocery Store

  • Food availability
    • There was a great haul of food this week for distribution to local families.
  • Nonprofit Status
    • Soon, FGS will be looking to incorporate into a nonprofit. This will open possibilities for collaboration and other work. If anyone can assist or has insights into the nonprofit filing process, they welcome the help.
  • Thank you!
    • Huge thank you to many community groups that have partnered with their organization to support their operations!

Alachua County Public Schools

  • Gardening Program
    • The gardening program is up and running! At Archer elementary, there is a gardening club that has really gotten started with their work.
  • Compactor
    • ACPS purchased a compacter to compost wasted food. The goal is for the cafeterias to be involved and to send the compost to the gardens. More to come.

Comments

  • It looks like Chartwells has been awarded the Food and Beverage services contract. Is that true?
    • They are still in the first 48 hours where negotiations are occurring. Nothing is final but Chartwells is excited about the decision.
      • If it moves forward, a member from Chartwells’ operational team will likely be joining FSC meetings in the future.
Food Access and Community Wellness Notes from March 15 2022

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