Food Access

The Food Access Crosscutting Team connects organizations working on food security, food access, and nutrition issues, assesses how well food access issues are being integrated into Farm to Plate Network Working Groups, and works to ensure that local food is accessible to low income Vermonters in every corner of the state. The team works to integrate food justice and racial equity into their discussions and in the Vermont Farm to Plate Network. They make a special efforts to explore new opportunities for collaboration with working groups.

We welcome new members to join our discussions at any time. If you are new to the group, we encourage you to reach out to the chairs - Erin Buckwalter and Faye Mack - to get acquainted and up-to-speed ahead of a meeting. 

This year, the Crosscutting Team will be focused on finalizing a couple of projects - a toolkit for addressing food access through town and regional planning and a tool to help organizations and individuals reflect on how they are addressesing food access through different lenses, and how to deepen and expand that work. The group will also be working with other Network groups to host a one-day training on engaging stakeholders to help the Network and its members ensure that all voices are at the table.


Activities

Food Security Planning Resources Task Force Annual Update

Food Security Planning Resources Task Force The Food Security Planning Resources Task Force has developed Local Planning for Food Access: A Toolkit for Vermont’s Communities, which will help community members and those involved in municipal planning work to address food access in their municipal or regional plan. The Task Force has a diverse membership with experts in food access and municipal and regional planning actively engaged. Engaging people who have not traditionally participated in Farm to Plate has been one of the keys to our success and has helped ensure the toolkit will be useful to people outside of the Network. The toolkit was released in November and the Task Force will re-set and develop a plan for dissemination in 2020. This will serve as Part II of the project, and we plan to put equal effort into dissemination as we did in developing the toolkit. The goal is to make sure the planning community is aware of this resource and to also identify and support a few communities in using this toolkit and serve as case studies for other communities. - Faye Mack, Group Chair

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Food Access Cross Cutting-Team Annual Update

The Food Access Cross Cutting-Team has spent much of the last two years moving a number of projects forward, with some strategic dialogue sprinkled in throughout the year in response to CCT members’ interest. Members of the group have finalized Approaches Towards Food Access, a self-assessment tool and resource guide that helps organizations identify and reflect on the different ways that they are working to address food access. The goal is for this toolkit to encourage organizations to name the ways they are doing work and identify opportunities for new strategies or partnerships they may not have otherwise considered. There will be a workshop on the toolkit at the 2019 Network Gathering, and the subcommittee will also continue efforts to disseminate this toolkit into 2020.

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