In March 2016, City Council called for the creation of a working group to develop recommendations for improving access to fresh, healthy and affordable food. They also asked that the group provide a status update on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) enrollment, and make recommendations to improve those efforts.
The working group, which was made up of representatives from City departments and community organizations, developed the following recommendations to Council:
- Complete a comprehensive Food Environment Analysis to evaluate and prioritize food access initiatives.
- Expand Healthy Food Retail initiatives to provide a diverse array of food access projects identified through community input and decision-making.
- Increase local food production through community gardens and urban farms.
- Pilot a Nutritious Food Incentives Program to expand buying power for produce at traditional brick-and-mortar retail.
- Improve awareness about nutritious food and assistance options through SNAP outreach programs and Community Health Workers.
- Incorporate food access into comprehensive development, public safety, and transportation planning efforts to create Safe Routes to Markets.
Detailed information about each of these recommendations is provided in the Austin Healthy Food Access Initiative report to Council.
The recommendations above build on numerous efforts in Austin to improve access to good and affordable food. Learn more about these efforts: