Food Access is one of the pillars of Farmshare Austin’s mission. With the help of our non-profit partners, we distribute produce from the educational farm throughout our community through innovative giving programs:
Mobile Farmer’s Market
Farmshare Austin transplanted its organic farming initiative into mobile produce markets around the Austin area fall 2016. With a grant from the City of Austin, Farmshare Austin provides affordable, organically-grown fruits and vegetables to local residents via the Fresh for Less Mobile Markets.
“The City of Austin is deeply invested in ensuring everyone in our community has access to the highest quality food possible, as well as supporting our robust local farming community,” said Edwin Marty, the City of Austin’s Food Policy Manager. “The mobile market being developed by Farmshare Austin can achieve multiple goals by addressing the common barriers for accessing healthy food – mainly price and proximity.”
Marty hopes that the mobile produce markets can be expanded over time to supply the communities in Austin that are demanding healthy, affordable food and perhaps serve as a national best-practice for addressing health disparities and local economic development.
Digging us back down to our roots, Farmshare Austin promotes organic farming in Central Texas and recognizes the mobile produce market as an opportunity to make an impact on food access in the community. To ensure access to organic foods, Farmshare Austin will open its first mobile produce market this September at identified sites in the city’s food deserts.
“Farmshare Austin has been working since our inception in 2014 to make healthy, local food accessible to everyone who wants it,” said Taylor Cook, Farmshare Austin’s Executive Director. “The mobile farmer’s market program is going to be a dynamic tool to connect local farmers with parts of our city and county that do not have access to fresh food. We are really excited to start this project with the City of Austin and partnering organizations.”
Farmshare Austin has been working with the Sustainable Food Center, an Austin-based nonprofit supporting the local food system, to identify and prioritize sites in various zip codes in Austin. To assist with affordability, the Double Dollar Incentive Program is available to market shoppers using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Compared to traditional farmer’s markets, Farmshare Austin’s mobile produce markets will provide fresh, organically-grown produce at more affordable prices. Farmshare Austin will continue to work with the City of Austin and other organizations to create a sustainable long-term mobile produce market program.
Sustainable Food Center
As resources permit, Farmshare Austin also participates in the following Sustainable Food Center Programs:
The Happy Kitchen Program – Farmshare will provide weekly produce to SFC’s Happy Kitchen Program when the program is in session.
Farm to Work – The Farm to Work program is a great partnership opportunity between the University of Texas’ sustainability efforts and Farmshare. Also by providing a workshare in gap periods for area farmers, Farmshare will help to ensure the longevity and sustainability of the Farm to Work program.
Meet the Farmer – The SFC is a coordinator for Meet the Farmer events at area schools. These events vary from event to event, but at each site there is an opportunity for the students to sample local fresh produce handled by the SFC. Farmshare provides many of these Meet the Farmer events with produce.