To meet our goal of improved Access to healthy foods, there are several working groups within the Advocacyand Actionteams helping coordinate specific initiatives with support from the Blue Zones Project Fort Worth.
To change a community's food system, it takes a lot of people working together from different perspectives. The following working groups are actively pursuing changes to local ordinances, promoting existing resources, and developing new ways to support businesses and organizations to achieve a bright and healthy future for Tarrant County.
The working group for grocery incentives is researching the barriers that discourage businesses from entering some neighborhoods.
Using that information, they are working with stakeholders to address those barriers and develop policy recommendations to attract grocers into new communities.
Currently, the Advocacy team has working groups developing recommendations for school pricing policies and an incentive policy to attract grocers to under served neighborhoods, often referred to as "food deserts".
The Action team has working groups dedicated to addressing Community Gardening & Urban Agriculture, including supporting developing a recommendation for zoning urban farms in the City of Fort Worth, promoting more mobile markets and produce carts as small business initiatives, assisting area convenience stores in increasing the number of healthy options on their shelves, and developing a regional food hub. For information on how you can get involved, contact us.
One of the most dynamic working groups, the CGUA group develops programs to support community, school, and backyard gardens, as well as urban agriculture initiatives.
In collaboration with NICA, the group piloted a curriculum for a backyard and container gardening. Read more...
In neighborhoods with limited resources, sometimes you have take a different approach to improving access to healthy foods. By working to update local ordinances and developing support systems, this group will help community members start their own small businesses selling fresh produce in their neighborhoods from a miniature farmers market on wheels.
One of the barriers to people making healthy choices is that healthy foods typically cost more than unhealthy foods. Without even thinking about it, people tend to select the lower cost choice. By helping schools adopt pricing policies that even the scales, the healthy choice also become the affordable choice.
The first step to increasing the number of mobile markets in our community is to make policy recommendations that support this type of small food business.
Taking it one step further, the group will seek to promote opportunities and provide programs and support to those getting started.
In some neighborhoods, convenience stores are the only place nearby to get groceries. The problem is, they don't always have fresh food and when they do it can be expensive. Working together, we can assist owners in increasing the number of healthy items they offer and address the limitations that result in high prices.
In the simplest terms, a food hub is an organization that aggregates and distributes produce and other agricultural products to restaurants, schools, hospitals and other large food service operations. Food Hubs support small-scale family farms and helps more foodservice operations put local food on the menu.