The FSC-GNV met on August 17 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.

AttendeeOrganization/Role
Karissa RaskinCivic Collaboration Supervisor – City of Gainesville; Facilitator of FSC-GNV
Malia RoseCommunity Development Fellow – City of Gainesville
Brandy StoneCivic Collaboration Specialist – City of Gainesville
Candi MorrisWIC Program Manager – Alachua County Dept. of Health
James LonganeckerFarm Manager UF Field and Fork Garden
Matt MuellerDirector of Food & Beverage Services – University of Florida
Miranda Carver MartinIndependent Community Member/Volunteer/Consultant
Alfredo MoralesFree Grocery Store
Abigail Perret-GentilExecutive Director of GRACE Grows, Community Engagement for GRACE Marketplace
Dina LiebowitzProgram Coordinator for UF Field and Fork
Mia JonesChildren’s Trust of Alachua County
Daniela PerezGraduate student in Environmental Horticulture
Karen Cole-SmithSanta Fe College – Executive Director of Special projects in Student Affairs
Tracy NazzaroOwner – Traders Hill Farm
Heather VecseyAlachua DOH Obesity Prevention Program
Denise JavierAlachua DOH Obesity Prevention Program
Kathleen PaganAlachua County Growth Management
Fred WashingtonDeveloper, East Gainesville Grocery Store

Update on City/County Initiatives

Regional Food Economy Proposal – Build Back Better Program

Grocery Store in SE Gainesville

  • Currently work with developer to bring Bravo Into the plaza where Food Lion and Save-a-Lot were. This was an unsolicited proposal – the request for involvement from the City is in form of a forgivable loan. Currently working on terms sheet. Community engagement – grocer and development team and City Commission are wanting the vision to be for the community by the community. Upcoming community engagement sessions – tomorrow and Saturday via Zoom, 2 in-person next week. Opportunity for community members to voice concern
  • Question asked about timeline around store opening – As soon as possible. As developer is purchasing whole plaza, the process is moving quickly. The deadline for closing on the property is different from when the plan and community engagement processes will be completed.
  • Question regarding reasons that past stores have not been successful and what the new store is doing to address those – Past operations focused on the corporate model as opposed to a community-focused model. The elements in past endeavors did not meet community vision. Save-A-Lot closed as a result of national store closures and the products were not tailored to the needs of the community. In this case, the City has an opportunity to have a say in the process because of the funding aspect. Example – term sheet of community advisory board, local FTEs, and local-as-possible food procurement.
  • Question regarding demographics of staff – Preliminary agreement on FTEs from community, contract will have more specific standards. Local employees to be employed at a living wage.
  • Mention of usefulness of term sheet for review to answer questions
  • Question regarding community grocery store direction and nature of change of that path – Many models of community grocery stores are not sustainable operationally, so this grocery was a good way to support local economic development. This proposal showed up and presented a good opportunity to move forward with something.
  • Question about nutrition education component in new store – Not stated in terms but developer has spoken with the DOH to station nutritionists in the store for shoppers. DOH shared education is highly possible – waiting on determining if grant funding will be rewarded. DOH can speak with other counties who have had similar programs to determine structure.
  • Food Science Nutrition Program at UF – Many students in this program are looking to be dieticians. This is a potential partnership where students could be a part of providing education and classes for the store. Karissa checking on Fred’s previous conversations with academic program.
  • Recommendation to include nutrition education in the contract – – UF Food Science and Human Nutrition as possible partners

Wasted Food Recovery

  • Zero Waste Gainesville has taken on efforts. They are gathering now in preparation of a potential wasted food ordinance down the road. The goal is to ensure the process developed is supportive of everyone involved – grower, restaurants, etc.
  • Connect with Alfredo, Dina around this initiative.

Joint City/County Food Systems Policy Board

  • First meeting held in August. This group is taking the lead on local food systems initiatives like:  
    • Healthy Corner Store Initiative
    • Produce Prescription
    • Foodshed Map
    • Good Food Purchasing Program
    • Education Campaign

Partner Updates

Reminder to use the FSC-GNV website to share info: https://foodsystemscoalitiongnv.com/submit-info-to-share

Free Grocery Store

  • Currently operating out of the Civic Media Center. Both groups are reopening together which has created challenges such as getting food out to people. The plan is to switch to getting food out once a week while rotating the clients that food is being distributed to.
  • There is no available storage for dry goods and as a result, is a large need to find a place that is accessible to store dry food.
  • Hoping to find more local produce as gleaning season approaches.
  • Working to focus more on gardening
    • Currently maintain a plot at McRorie Community Garen
    • Would like to help share resources around gardening to support people learning to grow their own food
  • Had to scale-back operations in the past few months
    • Had to cut down on the amount of food they are giving clients due to limited supply
    • Waitlist is currently closed due to limitations in capacity
    • Hoping to expand operations soon.
  • Shared MEANS Database as a tool that Free Grocery Store could pass to resources. An organization can be both a donor and a recipient.
  • Are you in need of more volunteers for Free Grocery Store? Abigail has volunteers who she needs to turn away and she could send them to Alfredo
  • Free Grocery store should connect with Grace Grows to get in touch with volunteers for gardening and food packing / delivery
    • Grace Grows often needs to turn volunteers away due to the vulnerable population served by Grace Grows garden
    • Free grocery store could benefit from having contact to those volunteers
    • Field and Fork can help send volunteers as well

UF Field and Fork

  • Semester starting next week. New interns coming so they will be able to plant new things
  • Looking into educational opportunities to share on campus like recipes, cooking demos and resources. These resources can be shared with FSC-GNV
  • Looking into partnering with UF Gator Dining around on-campus farmers’ markets (more details about the market below)

Gator Dining

  • Local restaurant row in Reitz Union – Expanding program to 10 restaurants in the fall. 2 restaurants during the day at lunch and 1 time at dinner. Working on encouraging consumers to visit brick and mortar location after introduction on campus.
  • Campus Farmers’ Market
    • Was brought back last spring on campus on a monthly basis. Once a month opportunity for students to purchase produce and produce is showcased in dining options.
    • Market is also open to the public and they are looking to expand operations
    • Focus is on getting students to be community consumers using the campus farmers’ market. Market to serve as a transition step in order to get students purchasing out in the community.
    • Partnership with Traders Hill Farm and other local farmers.
      • Right now Traders Hill is the main supplier for the farmers market, as Traders Hill Farm is picking up from other local farms and helping bring their products to campus.
      • There is also some product brought in from the Villages in Ocala
    • There may be opportunity to bring more local farms into farmers market
      • Right now farmers are not able to operate a stand at an-campus market during the week because they are in the field growing…
    • UF Gator Dining will reach out to Field and Fork Farm and Pantry to see if current interns could help operate farm stands on behalf of local farmers
      • Then farmers would just need to drop off their product to campus, but not operate the stands
      • Payment to farmers would need to be figured out because UF cannot be the fiscal agent for these farms to get paid through
    • Market is donating subset of funds to Field and Fork Pantry.
  • Gator Dining coordinating local farm purchasing programs. Marketing materials will be cleaned up and distributed in dining halls when school starts back up.

Working Food

  • Part-time Kitchen Coordinator hired! Could potentially tie that person into initiatives. Primary responsibility is keeping kitchen incubator open to local entrepreneurs. Will be slowly reopening soon and looking for interested entrepreneurs.
  • In April, 3 local female ranchers started a meat co-op and used WF kitchen for processing. Going really well with that group, excited to keep sharing expertise and experience.
  • Collaboration opportunities to explore:
    • Potential for UF Gator Dining apprentices to be connected to WF if they are interested in advancing their careers into entrepreneurial endeavors.
    • Opportunity to youth engaged in Youth Culinary Program that is a partnership between Greater Duval Neighborhood Association, Working Food, and Chef Empowerment to be connected into apprenticeship programs at UF Gator Dining
  • New Culinary Certification Program offered as partnership between Working Food and UF Office of Professional and Workforce Development
    • Instructor / Chef still needed before the program can launch
    • 10 scholarships available for community members interested in the culinary arts who may not be able to afford the $7500 registration fee
    • More info about the program can be found here: https://hub.aa.ufl.edu/programs–courses/culinary/

Alachua County

  • Emergency meeting at 6pm tomorrow. Discussing possible mask order in response to surge in COVID cases.
  • Question about the volunteer link on FSC website – what will it be used for?
    • This is a new feature of the site. Free Grocery Store volunteer opportunities are on there now.
    • Organizations can go on to submit information they want to share, including volunteer requests. Info submitted will be entered into a table for site visitors to see opportunities.

Children’s Trust

  • Glad to listen in to hear what is going on in the community to see where students and families can collaborate.
  • Feel free to reach out to them with any programs serving children and families.
Economic Development and Supply Chain Notes from August 17 2021

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