Sonoma County Healthy & Sustainable Food Action Plan: 2016 Status Report
- Charlotte Ballenger
Every community must answer the question, “how will we feed ourselves?” The way we answer this defines and describes us.
Four years ago, the Sonoma County Healthy & Sustainable Food Action Plan (FAP) was issued as a call to action to answer this and many other food and farming related questions. The Plan was the result of extensive community engagement and hundreds of hours of volunteer work. The result was a series of recommendations to the community organized into four pillar areas: Agriculture & Natural Resources, Economic Vitality, Healthy Eating, and Social Equity.
In the years since the FAP was released it has been adopted by the County Board of Supervisors and endorsed by almost every city as the shared vision for our local food system. Hundreds of individuals and organizations have endorsed the Plan and are working diligently towards its implementation. The FAP is unique in its whole-community focus, with engagement from a wide variety of community groups. In the best tradition of American democracy it attempts to put food issues into the context of the public interest and the greater good.
And it is working. As you will see in this report, there are over 40 Sonoma County organizations actively implementing one or more aspects of the Plan, over 65 specific programs and changes have been accomplished, and slowly but surely we are moving the needle on food issues.
For this we can thank both the myriad organizational and individual efforts put forth and the quiet, persistent leadership of the Sonoma County Food System Alliance, who turned the nascent aspirations of a community into a comprehensive call to action. The SCFSA continues to shepherd the FAP and encourage its adoption and implementation.
In the Status Report, you will see just how far we have come in four years. We have gone from sharing hopes and ideas of a better food system, to dozens of models of just what that system looks like. Much has been accomplished and there is much still to be done!
Key Features of the Status Report:
- Report on activities; 6 community events, hundreds of endorsements, and a strong network of food, farming, and community leaders have emerged
- Inventory of local initiatives
- Updated indicators of success
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Impact Area: Local Food
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Recent Related Projects
California Food System Alliance Project
The Alliance project has been Ag Innovations' main project since the founding of the original county Alliance in Ventura County in 1999. At one time or another, as many as 12 different counties in California have had a local Alliance organized and facilitated by Ag Innovations.
San Mateo County Food System Alliance
Founded in 2006, the San Mateo County Food System Alliance (SMFSA) is a collaboration of community leaders focused on creating a better future for farms, people, and the environment in San Mateo County.
San Diego Community Food Project
Ag Innovations served as an evaluation consultant for the Community Food Project of the International Rescue Committee in San Diego in 2011-2012, assisting in evaluation efforts and supporting integration of participant feedback.
“Ag Innovation's work gets multi-stakeholder groups to the table for discussions that result in scaled shifts in how food is produced, packaged, shipped and consumed fairly. ”