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Focused primarily on economic access and proximity issues. Identifies needs and priorities around emergency food assistance, retail availability and outreach, community food production, and economic development priorities.
Strategic Priorities Addressed: Identify neighborhood and city/county policies needed to allow community markets, sales at community centers, churches, and schools (and propose changes to policy group); Increase accessibility to affordable food and engage farm community in access issues
Focused on making a comprehensive asset map of our target area. We see this as a temporary cluster (that will revive on occasion as new assets emerge). ”Assets” include non-profit and for-profit social enterprise assets, farm assets, land assets, and financial assets, across all “traditional sectors.”
We recognize that there are large asset databases already (ASAP – farm; Manna – community; Blue Ridge Forever, Appalachian Southern Highlands Conservancy & Buncombe County – land/farm; Land of Sky Regional Council – Linking Lands Initiative – land/farm… among others), and that this group will use those database assets to compile an even more comprehensive database across categories.
Strategic Priorities Addressed: Asset mapping! Interview and survey farmers included.
Focused on communication both within the FPC (between Clusters) and with the public about FPC activities. Disseminates information to the public about meetings and council activities, while helping to streamline communication between Clusters. Maintains a forum where clusters can share information both internally and publicly (likely via website).
Strategic Priorities Addressed: Expand diversity and outreach (broadly). i.e. by helping clusters develop messaging for a diverse audience; Partner with media to share needs and successes on an on-going basis.
The Food Security Cluster focuses primarily on identifying needs and actions that will be needed should a large food emergency event, including natural disasters or a major disruption in our current food system, occur in the Asheville – Buncombe area.
Clusters are still determining their roles, and it’s possible that this cluster will also address challenges surrounding systems for emergency food assistance needed by members of our community on an on-going basis.
Focused on nutrition education, farm to school, policy ideas for public health and wellness.
Strategic Priorities Addressed: Increase awareness of community hunger; standardize food and nutrition education and increase funding; food mentoring: engage all assets of food system (pending identification of assets by group below); farm to table education across “traditional sectors”; Get healthy, local food into schools, hospitals, other local institutions; large institutions commit to purchase 10% of food from local sources; Well-being index development; fresh food drives and promoting healthy local [holiday] meals.
Focused on determining the ideas and needs to be included in a comprehensive land use policy in Asheville/Buncombe. This is separate from the Legislation/Policy group because of the breadth (and specificity) of the endeavor, and because there were so many Strategic Priorities identified by the Whole, specific to Land Use Policy. This cluster will work closely with the Legislation/Policy Cluster to put ideas/needs to paper and move ideas to legislative level.
Strategic Priorities Addressed: Policies to address food growing opportunities; ban GMO’s and GMO crops from WNC; comprehensive land use policy relating to urban and rural agriculture; evaluate government policy – local and federal road blocks, and remedy barriers to production and distribution; sustainability grade for certification and advocate for visibility to consumers and accountability of producers.
Focused on putting ideas/needs of the other Clusters to paper in a way that government understands. We identified a need for a Cluster that’s knowledgeable about the process and the language of policy and government action. Group will compile policy ideas from Clusters and make them into policy proposals, then advocate for them in local legislature.
Strategic Priorities Addressed: City and County councils officially recognize FPC and seriously consider recommendations, Farm Bill advocacy, proposing policy as Clusters identify needs.
Focused on making connections and facilitating flow between the traditional sector groupings. Facilitate coordination of separate Cluster efforts and focus on barriers that separate and hinder “flow” between producer, distributor, retail, and consumer.
Strategic Priorities Addressed: Identify and address health code and scale obstacles for small food enterprises (like food trucks or community markets). Identify barriers to and develop storage and processing facilities for large quantity of grown and gleaned local food.