Food Access

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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.

The CCT, along with other Network Working Groups, hosted a training on engaging key stakeholders in early October. The decision to host a network-wide professional development opportunity was the result of learning and discussion over the last 18 months about how the Network and its members can better engage with communities not often engaged in this work, including farmers and individuals who have experienced food insecurity.

As we wrap up our time as chairs of the CCT, we also are wrapping up the projects that have been our focus over the last two years. While some work on the projects will continue in 2020, the group will need to discuss what priorities come next. Given that it will also be the last year of Farm to Plate 1.0, they may be difficult — or very easy — to identify.

While we have many longtime members of the CCT, and new people join often, there remains value in actively recruiting additional people to join the CCT. The leadership transition, space for new discussions and projects, as well as the dialogue around Farm to Plate 2.0 can help bring new energy and faces to the work.

- Faye Mack & Erin Buckwalter, Group Chairs