A Resilient Regional Food System Improves Food Access and Local Economies
Working Groups & Volunteering
Our working groups are where the action is! Each group works diligently to address an issue or provide support to the community. We currently have groups for Community Gardens & Urban Agriculture, Children's Health, and Food Recovery.
Volunteer opportunities are available through our working groups and for special events. Contact us if you'd like to volunteer.
Systems, in and of themselves are imperfect. Overall, we have a pretty good food system--a LOT of food gets to a LOT of people all around the world. Unfortunately, our global system still has some important flaws that need to be addressed. Food quality, quantity, distribution, equal access, waste and the economic benefits of producing food by family farmers could and must be improved if we are to make sure everyone can access healthy food and ensure sustainability for our future.
2011 - Leaders from UNT Health Science Center, Meals on Wheels, Tarrant County Public Health and Tarrant Area Food Bank agree to develop a Food Policy Council.
2013 - Tarrant County Public Health conducts a Food Desert Survey in 11 zip codes in the county to assess food quality and accessibility in underserved areas. Council members presented the findings to Everman City Council. Meetings were held to problem solve lack of food access with the help of Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks.
The Council launches North Texas’ first Food Day celebration on the County Courthouse lawn and the Commissioners Court issues the first Food Day proclamation in Tarrant County.
The Council partners with Blue Zones Project Fort Worth to work on Food Policy initiatives.
2016 - The Community Gardens & Urban Agriculture Working Group assists city staff in developing an ordinance in support of urban food production and helps create a plain-language summary of the ordinance.
2017 - The Council sends a letter of support to the State Legislature in support of a Texas Grocery Incentive Fund. The fund would have provided financial incentives to grocers to construct new food retail operations in mow and moderate income areas.
2018 - Tarrant County Food Policy Council launches the Local Fare Awards to recognize food system leaders.
While it's not possibly to change such a massive, global system all at once, we can make significant improvements at a regional level. Evidence is mounting that strategic policy-making and the development of innovative programs to support a healthy, local food system works. By supporting small, local farmers, ranchers and producers, our region will benefit economically as they create more local jobs and spend their income locally.
Farmers also donate good, wholesome, but unmarketable produce to low-income families, improving their diets and reducing wasted food. Even better, assistance programs that have been designed to work with local farmers, like the model Tarrant Area Food Bank uses for their WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program and other regions have used for "Double Dollar" Farmers Market programs, benefit both parties significantly. Growers are producing at scale for a committed buyer and recipients get just-picked, flavorful produce, loaded with nutrients.
This is why we do what we do. We believe that getting healthy food should be easy and it should make economic sense to grow and sell it. We believe we can shine a light on what's working and what isn't in our region by conducting assessments of the local system. We can bring awareness and advocate for better policies at the local level--organizational, institutional, and governmental. We can educate consumers and work together to take action. Ultimately, we can improve the system so that it works for everyone, just like it's supposed to.
Our priorities include supporting local gardeners, farmers, ranchers and small-scale producers, mobilizing the community to reduce the waste of wholesome food, and improving healthy options for kids when dining out.
Our priorities are determined by the interests of Council members willing to take action to address community issues.
This year we've officially become a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated to providing expertise and resources on community food issues.
We also launched the Local Fare Awards to recognize all the people and businesses that are making Tarrant County and surrounding areas even better!