The Food Policy Council of San Antonio is a 501c3 organization dedicated to addressing root causes of an unhealthy food system and helping people work for the food environment they want to have.
2010 – 2011
- FPCSA, in partnership with the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and the UTSA School of Public Policy, commissioned a Food Insecurity Assessment from UTSA’s Department of Demography. Using Census data and the USDA food atlas, as well as original survey and focus group findings, it provided a status of food insecurity in San Antonio, and opened the stage for questions about present needs in the community.
- Following Seattle’s lead, developed and submitted a council resolution in support of a healthier 2012 Farm Bill.
- In May, held a two-day, three-track conference, “Sustaining Our Food, Sustaining Our Future.” It drew participants from around the state and around the food system for learning and engagement, and was hailed as an educational and inspirational event.
- At the end of the CPPW grant, the FPCSA incorporated as a Texas nonprofit organization.
- In June, held the second annual conference, “Honor the Land, Honor the People,” again drawing a diverse audience locally and from around the state.
- Collaborated with Metro Health on a sodium reduction grant that was awarded.
- Collaborated with Metro Health and other City partners to develop high standards for nutrition in the Pre-K for SA program.
- Advised SAHA (San Antonio Housing Authority), along with AgriLife, Green Spaces Alliance and others on an urban farm/CSA for resident job training.
- Collaborated with City of San Antonio Department of Planning and Community Development to define Urban Farms, Residential Market Gardens, and Cottage Foods in the 5-year revision of the Unified Development Code (UDC).
- Rather than holding another conference, we formed work groups based on identified needs in the community.
- UDC changes were approved by City Council, making it legal for the first time for residents to sell what they grow in their home gardens, or produce in their home kitchens in accordance with the Texas cottage foods law.
- Farm to School surveys were fielded of school nutrition directors, parents, and providers to determine the level of usage and interest for using locally grown produce in school food programs.
- A map of known urban agriculture sites in San Antonio was published, to be updated regularly.
- Partnered with local farmers market managers, advocates and stakeholders to address multiple fees assessed by city departments, resulting in significant reductions.
- In the SA Tomorrow Steering Committee, FPCSA guided the development and adoption of nine Food System strategies centered on a increasing the local and sustainable food system.
- Worked with Animal Care Services and the San Antonio Backyard Chickens Facebook group to increase the number of fowl allowed without a permit from three to eight, and establish a ratio of ten hens to one rooster, to distinguish backyard flocks from cockfighting operations.
- Held the first “San Antonio Chicken Walk,” a self-guided chicken coop tour, partnering with coop owners, local feed stores, a community garden, and a farmers market.
- Members served on three Technical Working Groups in development of the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.
- Met with City departments to discuss possible solutions to barriers to urban farms startups.
- Met with City Council members to advocate for several proposals arising from our workgroups.
- Held the second annual San Antonio Chicken Walk.
- Healthy Corner Stores pilot was funded in City Council District 3 by Councilwoman Viagran. In the first six months, eight stores were recruited and equipped with refrigerators under a grant from Happi Foodi frozen food company. In partnership with D3, UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine, Metro Health’s Healthy Neighborhoods program, River City Produce, and Compost Queens, sales of fresh fruits and vegetables at the stores rose from 600 lb. to 5,400 lb. per month by year’s end, with a cumulative total of more than 38,000 lb.
- Prepared UDC proposals for 2020 review to resolve barriers to urban farms startups.
- Assisted with emergency food deliveries to vulnerable populations during pandemic: Undocumented, disabled, those without transportation, those not wishing to give personal information.
- Paused Coop Tour due to pandemic
- UDC process was paused due to pandemic; we stayed in touch with Development Services Department (DSD).
- Developed agreements and funding for Padre Park Food Forest, held community and design meetings.
- Met monthly with DSD to vet urban agriculture amendments.
- Resumed Coop Tour.
- Metro Health took ownership of the Healthy CornerStores program.
- Held community meetings to name and design the food forest. Tamōx Talōm Community Food Forest was the name chosen by neighbors indigenous to the area.
- Held food forest work days to plant pecan and fruit trees, and other perennials.
- Attended board and commission meetings to represent our urban agriculture amendments to UDC.