Austin s Sustainable Food System

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1 Austin s Sustainable Food System

2 State of the Food System Report Purpose: Educate Snapshot of current food system Identifies trends Easily understood highly graphic Links to existing goals Imagine Austin/ CHIP COA programs and initiatives Organize priorities and action Creates a common framework Engages community partners Identifies a path to change

3 State of the Food System Report Organization: Food System distilled into 4 gerunds Growing food Selling food Eating food Recovering Food Collected data for selected metrics from available sources Profiled 18 COA Departments impacting the food system and exemplary private sector business

4 Food System Report and Imagine Austin All selected metrics are based on Imagine Austin Recommended Actions and Policies 31 references in Imagine Austin to supporting and enhancing a local sustainable food system

5 Limits to Food System Report This is a only starting point Challenges: Metrics cover different geographical areas Trends are difficult to track COA has a limited direct impact Complexity of global food system / City boundaries

6 Growing Food Metrics: 11 year farmland loss = 25% 9.3 acres a day Food Produced Locally = 1% Total community gardens = 52 Available plots = 0 (wait lists) AISD Schools with gardens = 73% Supply of food at any time = 3 days Average age of farmers = 62 Vacant Land in Austin Average farm worker income = $11K

7 Growing Food Takeaways: Preserving farmland requires innovative approach Products grown in Central Texas are a small percentage of what we eat School, community, and urban gardens are in high demand Farmer demographics and economic sustainablity must be addressed

8 Growing Food COA Profile Parks and Recreation Community Garden support Austin Water Incentives for food production Public Works Funding for community-based food projects Planning and Development Urban Farm Ordinance Certificate of Compliance Code Next revise the Land Development Code Private Sector Profiles Multicultural Refugee Coalition Use of City land for community gardens Urban Roots Developing the next generation of community food system leaders Agua Dulce Impact of Urban Farm Ordinance

9 Selling Food Metrics: Selling local food is a significant part of Austin s economy: Total economic impact = $4.1B (.45% of GDP in Austin MSA) Food manufacturing = $737M COA sales tax revenue = $63M (43% of total COA income) Austin eats = $3.6B annually Farmers Markets in the region = 18

10 Selling Food Takeaways: Buying local food benefits: Producers Consumers Local economy Environment More local processing & manufacturing is needed Local selling mechanisms need evaluation & improvement: # of farmers markets & fee structure Demand exceeds supply for institutional buyers Geographical distribution of grocery stores

11 Selling Food COA Profile Health and Human Services Farmers Market Regulations Food Safety Human Resource Farm to Work program Economic Development Economic Impact study Small Business support Private Sector Profiles Sustainable Food Center Farmers Market Double Dollar programs Slow Money Austin Financing for food system start-ups Salt and Time Impact of limited # of local animal processors on local businesses

12 Eating Food Metrics: Food insecure = 18% Only 57% of eligible residents receive SNAP Children =25% Obesity rate = 25.5% Obesity costs Texas $9B per year Diabetes rate = 7.4% Food retail = over 6,000 restaurants and 85 full service grocery stores Zip codes lacking grocery store = 5 Austin Food Desert Map

13 Eating Food Takeaways: Food insecurity disproportionately impacts: Children Minorities Elderly Many Austinites do not have healthy eating habits Priorities for improvement: Increased access to healthy food Improve planning for healthy food Addressing affordability Education and outreach

14 Eating Food COA Profile Transportation Access to healthy food Health and Human Services Healthy Vending Policy WIC program Private Sector Profiles Odd Duck Transformation of food trucks into brick and mortar restaurants CAP Metro Grocery Store routes Sustainable Food Center Double Dollar incentive program Capital Area Food Bank SNAP outreach

15 Food Recovery Metrics: Local Food waste = 421,500,000 lbs. per year / $208M Households with access to curbside composting = 14,322 Organic material diverted = 3,674,000 pounds Keep Austin Fed recovers 360,000 pounds/year ARR composting classes = 50

16 Food Recovery Takeaways: Benefits of food recovery: 25% food waste = 25% food insecurity Reduces food insecurity Achieves Zero Waste goal Saves money Conserves resources Reduces climate change impacts 15 garbage trucks a day with each carrying $38,000 worth of food Specific strategies should be developed for: Residents, businesses, schools & institutions Neighborhood-scale solutions Providing compost to local farms

17 Food Recovery COA Profile Austin Resource Recovery Residential and business pilots Health and Human Services Regulates food donations Austin Water Manages human waste Private Sector Profiles Compost Peddlers Community-scale composting Keep Austin Fed Food Recovery UT Arlington/ Eco-Network Food Waste Charter

18 Access the Report Food Portal Launch: Educational materials How to donate food How to compost Ways to eat healthy Codes and regulations Starting a business or urban farm Starting a community garden Organizations Technical support resources Helping with hunger Where to buy local food

19 Edwin Marty Food Policy Manager

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