The FSC-GNV met on November 16 2021. The topic for this meeting was Food Access & Community Wellness. Contact information for the attendees below may be provided upon request. Please email for assistance connecting to FSC-GNV participants. To download and share these meeting notes, access the PDF version HERE.

Karissa RaskinCivic Collaboration Supervisor – City of Gainesville; Facilitator of FSC-GNV
John NixLocal farmer; Energy Engineer for ACPS
Miranda Carver MartinIndependent Community Member/Volunteer/Consultant
Kathleen PaganSenior Planner in Growth Management Dept. for Alachua County
Dina LiebowitzProgram Coordinator for UF Field and Fork
Matt MuellerDirector, Food and Beverage Services at UF
Brandy StoneCivic Collaboration Specialist – City of Gainesville
Candi MorrisAlachua WIC Program – Alachua County Dept of Health
Kamelia KlejcProgram Coordinator – City of Gainesville Fire Rescue, Community Resource Paramedicine
Serena SakkalSustainability Manager – UF Gator Dining
Emma HunnifordOutreach Coordinator – UF Master of Public Health Program
Catherine HartPublic Health Specialist – UF IFAS Family Nutrition Program
Steven KildowExecutive Chef – North Florida Regional Medical Center
Brenton HomewoodFood Systems Specialist for Alachua County – UF IFAS
Kari DooleyCompass Group Chartwells
Shannon ReganPresident – Strong Roots Movement and UF Student
Majd AfaghaniMetabolic Health Researcher
Dr. Karen Cole-SmithDirector of Special Projects in Student Affairs – Santa Fe College

What is the FSC-GNV?

Partner News and Updates for November 16 2021

UF Food and Beverage

  • See below for food waste diversion pilot update.

City of Gainesville

  • We have a new City Manager who is very much focused on collaboration. She started this week.
  • Joint City County Food System Policy Board – This board is a continuation of years of City food system work started under Commissioner Gail Johnson. Other commissioners are now supporting the work. The board meets monthly on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. Please let Karissa know if you would like the meeting information. There will be no meeting in December. Meetings will resume January 12th, 2022. The main initiatives the board is focused on include:
    • Healthy Corner Store Initiative – An initiative focused on increasing the amount of healthy food sold in corner stores in “food desert” areas. A model for community / stakeholder engagement is being developed to empower corner store owners to help design the program. Many healthy corner store models show incentives for corner stores for participating in the program. Examples of incentives includes education, infrastructure, and resources. Ultimately, the large question is, “how can we position these stores to sell healthy food?”. The next step in the process is developing a working group with store owners to align with their needs and interests.
    • FoodShed Map – Many FSC members contributed information about food-based assets in our community… these locations have now been plugged into a GIS map created by UF GEO Plan for the City and County. Watch this video (beginning at the 5 minute mark) to see a presentation by UF GeoPlan about the map. This FoodShed Map will be helpful for FSC as we work to identify the resources in the community. The goal with the map is to eventually be able to layer other indicators on the map to see more complex issues.
    • Grocery Store on Hawthorne Road – There is currently no update, as the 90-day pause is still in effect. The developer is undergoing a review of their process and seeking further engagement from the community. The pause will end on December 1st. At that time, the development team will share if they are still interested in moving forward with the project. If they do so, moving forward does not guarantee the project will happen, but allows city staff to continue to work on it. This would include a review by commission and finalizing the term sheet and contract. If it continues, there is more work to be done.
    • Food Waste Diversion – The city is working on an ordinance that will require food- generating businesses have to divert according to EPA hierarchy in a phased approach over the next few years. More details about the ordinance will be available in January.
      • UF Gator Dining has worked to set-up a pilot from the Arredondo Café to get it to the UF Food Recovery Network to divert it into the community. Starting Tuesday after Thanksgiving!
        • Question about amount of food and method of repackaging – They are rescuing Tuesdays and Fridays. The pans will be taken downstairs in the Reitz Union kitchen. If possible, food will be repackaged into single- serving packaging for full meals. They will assess the type of food that is left and determine next steps. Smaller amounts will be able to package into meals but larger pans will likely need to go to a social service group. Recommendation to confirm with the organizations that they are able to take the donations.
        • Dietetic interns ready whenever we need them for education.
        • Question about Field and Fork pantry capacity – Refrigeration is a challenge. Recommendation to reach out to Ben for operations info. Likely a day-to-day thing because deliveries vary day to day. Monday is usually a busy delivery day at the pantry. Pantry is closed all weekend so food would need to be able to be eaten days later if it were brought over on a Friday.
        • Gator Dining is testing this model so hopefully the kinks and challenges will be worked out by the time the ordinance rolls out in full. This way, no groups have to reinvent the wheel. With the hospitals, the spring is likely the earliest we could get it going which gives us time to learn from Gator Dining.
        • Recommendation to reach out to Allie at MEANS Database to coordinate moving the food. We can work to get non-profits signed up for it to identify recipients.
      • Update today with a contact from UF Health Shands – Interest in food waste diversion from hospital operations. Conversations to continue.
      • Kami from GFR CRP is in touch with Aditya to explore a partnership between CRP and Street Med.
      • Potential for prescription meals with dietetic interns at UF to directly address chronic disease challenges for individuals who are food insecure.
      • North Florida Regional Medical Center – Most leftovers are bulk cooking products from patient tray line which is already prepared. They try to source reduce as much as possible. Not nearly as much fruit and vegetable waste as many operations. Not usually much leftover in the cafeteria because grill is contracted out.
      • Eastside High Culinary Program – Overseen by Dr. Karla Shelnutt. Program trains students to make meal kits and to be chefs in the community. They serve food to folks in need and are provided education from FNP.
      • Potential confusion with BOTM and MEANS matching – Karissa speaking with BOTM tomorrow to make sure there will not be any conflict with Gainesville Harvest and MEANS in terms of sharing food donations in the community.
      • Question about status of promoting MEANS database – Karissa explained City timeline of finalizing ordinance language and pause on surveying food generating businesses. As soon as we get food-generating businesses are on board, it will be easier to get non-profits to start using the platform. We will likely start the outreach around MEANS and the ordinance in January.
      • Question about the possibility of the ordinance not getting passed.
      • Recommendation to have messaging come from BOTM, Feeding Florida or a respected attorney to clarify liability concerns. This is important and some small businesses would likely start participating without the ordinance because it’s the right thing to do. Agreement that messaging is key, as it is important to speak to the values of folks to bring them into the conversation.

Majd Afaghani – Metabolic Health Initiative

  • The goal of the initiative is to use education to identify metabolic health issues and help to address them. Specifically, Majd is working with schools to identify youth with diabetes or pre- diabetes and with retirement homes and senior centers to support type III diabetes education.
  • Tha plan is to have nutrition and related education for caretakers, teachers, and families involved.
  • Potentially could use farmers markets as a platform to get in touch with the community.
  • Recommendation to collaborate with Candi at Alachua County WIC or Kami with CRP.
  • Majd was a part of the UF College of Medicine as a scientist looking at diabetes and obesity. Working now to determine the model that would be best to implement this. He is aware that there are lots of folks who want to be involved in the project as volunteers and employees.
  • Majd is looking for partners and funding now to build a network to get this out.
  • Recommendation to contact Dr. Bruce Waite, as he works at a senior center Melrose addressing metabolic health. Common Thread is his non-profit which could be a connection.
  • Karissa will circle back with Majd to get connected with PRG for getting a pilot off the ground and assisting with funding.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Strike Out Hunger Food Giveaway on Thursday 11/18 from 5am-12pm at the Oaks Mall
  • Youthbuild Food Giveaway Thursday 11/18 at 8am

Field and Fork Farm at UF

  • There are gleaning efforts at Siembra Farm and Family Farms to collect and pack bags of vegetables. Bags are then distributed in East Gainesville. Overflow of produce is going to Field and Fork Pantry and BOTM. Volunteers are needed Sundays at 1pm at the farms to assist with gleaning and packaging produce. Multiple thousands of pounds getting rescued and into the hands of those who need it.
  • There is a possibility of this gleaning effort playing into prescription meals. Is this an opportunity for CRP to get fresh produce out to community? Dietetic interns could create recipe cards specific to the produce. If there are items that they usually glean a lot of, we can get that to interns to work on those recipes. Field and Fork and CRP will connect about this.

Alachua County Public Schools

  • Farm to school is going well! The team was about to demonstrate operations to the state education liaison that came by last week.
  • Composting program starting in schools soon.
  • They are currently looking at ways to reduce wasted food and identifying ways to measure what is being wasted.
  • Howard Bishop to have a compost operation on site along with a garden in the near future.

Food Systems Coalition General Announcements forNovember 16 2021

  • Please send website updates to Miranda Martin to be included, or enter them HERE.
  • FSC is still looking for 4 community members to complete a website review. Folks get a $50 Visa gift cards as compensation for their review.
  • Please submit volunteer opportunities to the website and we will work to get students plugged in.
  • Nikki Fried, Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, is coming to Gainesville for a community conversation on December 2nd. The Chamber of Commerce will host this event. You can find more information HERE.
  • Question about the EDA Grant for the regional food hub. The grant proposal was not submitted. Food Systems Institute looking at applying for a Walmart grant in the future about exploring a local food hub.
Food Access and Community Wellness Notes from November 16 2021

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