The FSC-GNV met on the 13th of July 2021. 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
Malia RoseCommunity Development Fellow – City of Gainesville
John NixLocal Famer; Energy Engineer for ACPS
Christa CourtAssistant Professor of Regional Economics – UF Food & Resource Economics
Catherine CampbellAssistant Professor of Community Food Systems – UF Family, Youth & Community Sciences
Matt MuellerDirector of Food & Beverage Services – University of Florida
Tim BucoloDistrict Manager with UF Gator Dining Services
Chef Tonya MitchellUF Campus Culinary Director for UF Gator Dining/Aramark
Chef Justen RileyChef De Cuisine for UF Gator Dining Residential Operations
Dwan CourtneyDirector of Small Business & Supplier Diversity at UF
Jazmyne RandallProgram Assistant for UF’s Small Business & Supplier Diversity
Denise JavierHealth Educator at Dept. of Health – Alachua County’s Obesity Prevention Program
Miranda Carver MartinIndependent Community Member/Volunteer/Consultant
Serena Sakkal(new) Sustainability Coordinator for UF Gator Dining
Cindy SandersUF/IFAS Extension Director for Alachua County
Dina LiebowitzProgram Coordinator for UF Field and Fork
James LonganeckerFarm Manager for UF Field and Fork
Kelli BrewFarm to School Coordinator at Alachua County Public Schools
Steven KildowExecutive Chef at North Florida Regional Medical Center
Tracy NazzaroOwner– Traders Hill Farm
Adam WatsonAssistant Professor from UF Dept. of Ag & Bio Engineering
Dmitry PodobreevFood Justice Coordinator– Alachua County Labor Coalition

UF Small Business & Vendor Diversity

Presentation by Dwan Courtney – Director of SBSD Program

This is a presentation requested during past meetings so we could explore ways for UF to support small and diverse local businesses involved in the food system (i.e. restaurants, caters, farmers, etc.), as they have not worked much with the food and beverage industry in the past.

Background on the Small Business & Supplier Diversity (SBSD) Program

  • Mission: seek out, identify, and promote the use of qualified small & diverse businesses at the University of Florida
  • Find UF Small Business criteria HERE
  • Ensure equal access to compete for procurement & contracting opportunities with UF
  • Offer small business development services to support their success in working with UF
  • Supplier diversity refers to a business practice that incorporates the use of small & diverse businesses in procurement decisions
  • Diverse Business = Women, Veteran, Service-disabled Veteran, Minority, HUB-zone, Disadvantage

Why use small businesses?

  • Puts money back in the economy
  • Direct communication with the owner of the businesses
  • Meet & know the people behind the product/service
  • Multiple options to purchase
  • Encourage competition and promotes innovation in our community

Current efforts of SBSD Program at UF:

“Doing business with UF!”

  • Monthly workshop series where UF departments are invited to discuss how they can do business with small & diverse business suppliers within their own department (i.e. printing jobs, purchasing equipment for research studies)
  • Opportunity for departments to ask questions and voice what their needs are… that helps small businesses know how to market themselves and adjust their businesses to align with the needs of UF so they can be more competitive in bidding for jobs

Mentor Protégé Program refresh

  • Help protégés compete more successfully for jobs at UF
  • Program aspiring businesses that want to do business with UF to connect with UF departments that have experience with UF procurement processes so the small businesses can get insight regarding what goes into making procurement decisions. Having mentors on the inside can help the small business better position themselves to get jobs at UF.
  • The program also helps connect small businesses with other agencies and associations outside UF that can serve as a mentor

Initiatives / Resources Coming Soon

  • Small business Supplier Database — a database where any small & diverse business can put information into the database about the products/services they offer. This allows UF departments to view all that information and more easily identify small & diverse businesses they could procure from. This will be a public database so anyone will be able to access the list of business suppliers.
  • Opportunity Portal — UF contractors and departments can post subcontracting opportunities about the jobs they have for small & diverse businesses within the larger jobs that UF has. This will make it easier for small businesses to get involved in jobs at UF.
  • Assessment Portal — solicit feedback about the SBSD program from small businesses and UF departments to improve the program
  • Equitable Empowerment (E2) Series — partnership where UF connects with local, state, and federal agencies to promote equitable access to resources and opportunities

Discussion / Question & Answer

Is SBSD connected with UF Office of Professional and Workforce Development?

  • There may be an opportunity to connect with various business associations in the area (i.e. Alachua County Hospitality Council; StartGNV; Eat GNV; etc.) to get the word out about SBSD
  • Karissa will connect Dwan with Andy Campbell (Director of OPWD) to see how they can support each other

What type of business can work with SBSD?

  • Any business that can offer a service or product to UF… that includes farmers
  • All different areas of foodservice would fit… vendors, caterers, farmers, restaurants, suppliers, etc.
  • SBSD is the liaison to help businesses get connected to the departments that they might do business with

Who is the database intended for?

  • The database will be a marketing tool to showcase the different types of small & diverse businesses
  • It will allow departments to have a comprehensive list of small and diverse businesses that are eligible to do business with UF
  • The database would be categorized by commodity code.
  • The goal of the database is to target the UF departments, but it is a public resource that other institutions (City, County, hospitals, etc.) could use.

UF Economic Impact Analysis Program

Presentation by Dr. Christa Court – Director of EIAP

What does EAIP do?

  • Housed within UF’s Food and Resource Economics Department
  • Provides technical assistance to industry groups, academic units, government agencies, and local communities
    • The food system is extremely complex, and a lot of factors need to be considered when making decisions that impact different parts of the food system and supply chain… everything is interconnected, so decisions can have major indirect impacts
    • EIAP strives to make data more accessible so decision-makers (industry, government, communities, etc.) can make informed decisions
  • EAIP conducts sponsored research projects involving detailed analyses of particular industries, regions, or situations.
  • Staff/faculty with expertise in the areas of regional economic modeling, economic impact analysis, economic contribution studies, disaster impact analysis
A graphic depicting the complexity of the food system, by the UF IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program presented during the July 2021 FSC-GNV meeting

Disaster Impact Analysis

A graphic depicting Economic Contributions of Florida's Agriculture, Natural Resource, and Food Industries, 2018

Efforts to Assess Impacts of COVID-19 on Florida Food Systems

  • EIAP modified the tool they use to assess impacts of natural disasters to instead be applicable to assess businesses as related to COVID-19
  • March-May 2020, UF/IFAS launched a survey to Florida food-based businesses to learn more about how/when they were impacted by COVID-19
    • Conducted a statewide assessment as well as regional assessments
    • Conducted commodity-specific assessments as well
  • Engaged in a multi-state study “Lessons from COVID-19: Positioning Regional Food Supply Chains for Future Pandemics, Natural Disasters and Human-made Crises”
    • Looking at regional differences of impacts to food system supply chains
    • Click HERE to view webinars about the project
  • Part of a partnership project with UF/IFAS, Florida Gulf Coast University, and Florida A&M University to collect “stories and experiences” behind the data
    • Goal is to make the data related to impacts of COVID 19 more relatable and humanized.
    • If you are interested in being interviewed about your experiences with COVID-19, contact David Outerbridge at
A visual preview of the online EIAP Data Platform landing page

UF/IFAS EIAP Data Platform

Everyone should check THIS out. The new data platform is soon to be released that compiles data from numerous databases on topics related to food systems that will make data about all of these areas more accessible and understandable to the public… there is mapping included!


  • The EIAP Data Platform will be extremely relevant to the Foodshed Map that Alachua County and City of Gainesville is working on… Karissa will connect Christa with Sean Mclendon
  • Notes from Gator Dining (Matt)
    • UF Gator Dining is working with UF Director of Emergency Management to have a stock of shelf-stable foods and meal kits that can be available at UF to use during emergency / natural disaster situations… this could be a small-scale example of how our community is preparing for natural disaster events
    • UF Gator Dining can provide impact #s for the small businesses that are participating in Restaurant Row… we can show the economic impact that being engaged in the program has had for the small businesses by showing the increase in sales, new job opportunities the business has created, any new locations they have opened over time due to increase sales from publicity at UF, etc.
    • Matt will reach out to Christa to talk more about data sharing
  • United Nations Association of South Florida is also working on a Foodshed Map for SE Florida
  • UF EIAP has funding from UF/IFAS Extension to build out the web-GIS platform for the EIAP Data Platform so it will be helpful to stakeholders internal and external to UF
    • We should all share data to incorporate into the database
    • EIAP will hold focus groups to learn more about the type of data that people would like to see on the platform
    • Christa welcomes feedback from the Food Systems Coalition of Greater Gainesville around what would be helpful to include
  • Regional Food Hub initiative will benefit from partnering with EIAP… data informed decision making and planning!
    • Looking at how production, processing, distribution of food products and all the logistics engaged work within Florida’s food system can help us better develop a plan for a regional food hub… that is data that EIAP can help with
    • Adam Watson is conducting a feasibility study on developing a regional food hub in North Central Florida.
      • Producer survey is complete
      • Buyers are difficult to get in touch with… phone call does not get the person you need to talk to, but mail-out surveys do not either
      • Assistance with outreach to buyers (restaurants) would be very helpful
      • Results will be compiled and analyzed before the end of the year
    • Karissa will form a subcommittee for writing a proposal for the 2022 USDA Regional Food System Partnership Grant to apply for implementation grant for regional food hub
      • We should leverage all the data being compiled and discussions that we are having through the FSC-GNV
      • Food service directors at large institutions around the country are having a lot of labor issues regarding food service on campus. Thus, it is difficult to find the help that is needed to prepare fresh food for dining programs… this means that prepackaged/processed/frozen food is in high demand…
      • There is going to be a huge increase in the processed food market… we can get ahead of the game and provide opportunities for our local farmers to be supported if we have the mechanisms in place to use their products for value- add processes off campus that institutions can then purchase.
      • A value-add processing plant (like a wash, chop, freeze) could be a savior to our local food producers and supply new jobs in the food service industry
      • Christa and Tracy both developed proposals that could be used as a framework for the proposal… we can also look at applying for smaller grants from several

Food Systems Coalition of Greater Gainesville

Presentation by Karissa Raskin – Facilitator of FSC-GNV. This presentation was provided to orient people who are new to the FSC-GNV and clarify how meetings will be structured going forward.

What is the FSC-GNV?

Brief history of the FSC-GNV:

  • Oct. 2018 – Feb. 2019 – City conducted a community-based research process to understand barriers to food access
  • Feb. 2019 – Gainesville Food System: A Community Conversation Workshop where neighbors brainstormed possible solutions
  • March 2019 – Presented workshop outcomes to City Commission
  • June 2019 – Launching of Food System Coalition of Greater Gainesville.
    • Survey taken to determine the mission and focus areas of the FSC
    • Working Groups formed to address focus areas, with goal of identifying one or two projects to collaborate on
    • Informal structure and operational process developed
  • June 2019 – March. 2020 – Monthly in-person meetings with spilt structure
    • One hour as large group check-in;
    • One hour for working group discussions to focus on specific projects the group is engaged in.
  • April 2020 – Shift to virtual meeting platform (ZOOM) due to COVID-19. Opportunity to revaluate structure and operational process
  • July 2020 – July 2021 – Repositioning of FSC-GNV
    • Working groups retitled as “networking groups” to focus on networking and communication between attendees
    • Shift to bi-monthly meetings due to COVID-19 related time constraints
    • Reduced FSC meeting time and virtual platform made breaking out into networking groups difficult
    • Launch of FSC-GNV Website and listserv
    • Institutional leadership (City, County, UF, etc.) increased focus on local food systems
  • July 2021 – Repositioning again to improve collaborative opportunities…

Structure for FSC-GNV going forward

  • Return to monthly meetings:
    • 3rd Tuesday of every month @ 3pm – 5pm
    • Virtual option will remain available (in-person option may also be available)
  • Meeting Agendas:
    • Begin with 1 or 2 brief presentations on relevant project (30 min)
    • Round-robinupdatesfromattendees(60min)
    • Addressing challenges / Calls for support (30 min)
  • Alternating meeting focus each month
    • Community Food Access & Health Initiatives (odd months)
      • Produce Prescription Program
      • Healthy Corner Store Initiatives
      • Food Waste Recovery
      • Etc.
    • Supply Chain & Economic Development (even months)
      • Regional Food Hub planning
      • Foodshed Map
      • Marketing for local restaurants and farms
      • Procurement practices
      • Etc.
  • Everyone is welcome to use the FSC-GNV to share updates about resources and programs related to our local food system. Submit materials/info to have posted on our website HERE.

Updates on Action Items from Last Meeting

UF Gator Dining – Local Restaurant Row

  • The Local Restaurant Row is a UF Gator Dining program that features local restaurants in the food court of the Reitz Union. The five restaurants currently engaged in the program are featured one day per week on a rotating basis to serve lunch.
  • The goal of the program is to increasing the variety of on campus food options for students, as well as provide local restaurants an opportunity to increase their customer base, showcase their food, and grow their business. It is a fantastic marketing opportunity for the restaurants and a great way for UF to support our local business community and our local food system.
  • Local restaurants interested in joining the program can reach out using the form on THIS WEBPAGE.
  • Most of the meal prep the restaurants need to do prior to serving lunch is done off-campus at their own establishment, so just the final prep stages are done in the Reitz Union. The restaurant does prep and serving at Reitz Union, but UF provides a cashier.
  • The five vendors currently engaged are Big Island Bowls; B’Z Gelati, Fat G’s BBQ, Little Sombrero, Mi Apa. There are over 20 more restaurants that have expressed interest in participating in future semesters.
  • Each vendor is averaging $780 during lunch over the summer.
  • In the Fall the program may include some breakfast vendors, evening dinner vendors, and dessert vendors.

UF Gator Dining – Update on ITN for Food and Beverage Procurement contract

  • Here is the link to the ITN
  • All proposals are due to UF Procurement Services by October 6, 2021

Support Local Farmers through Marketing & Promotion Initiatives

  • UF/IFAS and UF Gator Dining are meeting regularly to discuss how to coordinate menu planning around seasonality and produce marketing materials for the featured crops
    • August 2nd meeting will focus on seasonality and highlighting a few crops that will be featured in the dining halls. Marketing materials will be developed once the produce are selected
    • The crops will be purchased from local farms as much as possible
  • Kelli Brew mentioned that Alachua County Public Schools Farm to School program is currently talking with farmers about the crops that they will feature in the Harvest of the Month
    • Find out what is available from farmers, and what the Chef’s want to focus on
    • Also try to link up with the crops that are growing in the school gardens
    • Also linking up with Sarah Cervone’s Heritage Food project to highlight heritage foods to teach the students history of where these food came from
    • Kelli would like to share info with UF Gator Dining and find ways to overlap
    • It is important to find crops that farms can grow easily so the farms are profiting from this as well
  • Serena will reach out to explore opportunities for collaboration… she will send invitations to join the August 2nd meeting with UF/IFAS and Gator Dining:
    • Dina Liebowitz: see how crops that Field and Fork Farm are growing on campus can be looped in, and maybe even offer farm tours to UF students
    • Bring in Kelli Brew – see how UF and ACPS can work together on crop selection that will benefit local farms
    • Sarah Cervone – highlight heritage crops that grow very well in Florida and have a strong tie to the culture and history of populations in our community
  • James Longanecker suggested that art used in the marketing materials be culturally relevant too and celebrate the heritage / culture of the foods
  • Karissa suggested that these marketing materials be showcased at the “NIGHT OF DANCE” being hosted as a partnership between UF HealthStreet and the UF Food Systems Institute… Karissa will connect Matt with the planning coordinator of that event

Update from North Florida Regional Medical Center

  • Steven Kildow said that he would love to see how North Florida Regional Medical Center’s Dining program could use the marketing materials for seasonal, local produce as well
  • Hospital is working out a deal with the Florida Cattle Ranchers Association so that all of the beef served at the hospital is all-natural Florida raised beef
  • Karissa suggested that John Nix and Steven talk… John is a 4th generation beef farmer
  • Steven will then push for produce vendor to buy more local produce for the hospital
  • Steven would also like to see how the Produce Prescription Program might fit in at North Florida… Karissa will reach out with more info on these initiatives and be sure Steven is invited to future planning discussions for a pilot project

Updates on Externship Opportunities

  • Food & Nutrition Services at North Florida Regional Medical Center would be interested in offering externship opportunities. Steven will just need approval from HR at the hospital
  • UF Gator Dining is establishing an MOU with Eastside Culinary Institute to offer externships to those high school students
    • Karissa will reach out to Chef Tonya to share info about other community partnership opportunities (i.e. tours for youth participating in the Chef Empowerment/Great Duval Youth Cooking classes; guest speaker for Newberry High School culinary class students)
    • May be beneficial to share the MOU with Steven at North Florida Regional Medical Center so they can use it as a starting point for establishing their own externship program with local high schools

Additional Updates

  • John Nix shared that he is serving on Joint City/County Citizens Climate Action Committee
    • This committee is tasked with providing recommendations to the Joint Water and Climate Board about how to plan for climate change mitigation
    • John said the data from the UF/IFAS EIAP Data Platform and the disaster impact analysis data will be very helpful for setting up a data-informed plan of action.
    • Strategies for food waste reduction should also be included in the plan
  • Christa mentioned a database that not only shows information about the number of people a company employs, but breaks the data down to show the specific roles that employees play within the company
    • Karissa suggested that Christa share info about this database with the UF Office of Professional & Workforce Development
  • Food Waste Recovery Initiative
    • Several local groups and organizations are working to reduce the amount of food wasted in our community by finding ways to recover the food before it goes into the trash and divert it to people who are struggling with food insecurity
    • There is already good work happening by Bread of the Mighty, Food Not Bombs, Free Grocery Store, etc.
    • Community partners are looking into using the MEANS Database as a better way to handle the logistics of linking food donors up with food recipients. Here is a short video presentation on the MEANS Database.
Notes and Updates from the July 2021 Meeting

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