In response to an Austin City Council resolution, the Office of Sustainability guided a community effort to develop the Austin Healthy Food Access Initiative. This community report recommends that the City complete a Food Environment Analysis, expanding healthy food retail initiatives, increasing local food production, piloting a nutritious food incentive program, carrying out a coordinated awareness campaign, and creating safe routes to market.
The City of Austin’s Food System Portal provides information and resources for growing, selling, eating, and composting food, including information on area food banks and food assistance programs.
The Sustainable Food Center’s Grow Local initiative provides resources to help residents grow their own food. The Farm Direct program connects local farmers with schools, urban residents, institutional food service operations worksites, and shoppers through a network of Farmers’ Markets that also accept SNAP, WIC and Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program, and issue Sustainable Food Center Double Dollars benefits for all three.
The Central Texas Food Bank partners with nearly 300 organizations across Central Texas to provide emergency food assistance. Formerly known as the Capital Area Food Bank, in 2016 they inaugurated a new 135,000-square-foot facility in Southeast Austin that can allow them to more than double the number of people it can serve.
The Austin Public Health Department is carrying out a Community Health Assessment (CHA) in 2017, engaging community members and local partners to collect and analyze health-related data from a multitude of sources, in order to inform the next Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), which aligns with Imagine Austin’s Healthy Austin objectives related to food access.