BUILDING COMMUNITY IN AUSTIN

February 14, 2014

By Suzanne Babb, Why Hunger

In January, NHC staff traveled to Austin, Texas to attend the One World Everybody Eats Summit and to visit with some new and old partners. Although each event or partner carries out different activities, they all demonstrate how community building can be a powerful tool for change.

Our first stop was The Sustainable Food Center (SFC). This community food security organization uses a systems approach to their work centered around their motto: grow, share, prepare. The Grow Local program (grow) teaches adults and children how to grow food in various parts of the community, such as schools, community gardens or in their own backyards. Their Farm Direct program (share) connects farmers to consumers at schools, businesses and several SFC-run weekly farmers markets that accept SNAP and WIC and offer a double coupon value program. The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre program (prepare) trains peer facilitators from the community to teach free nutrition and cooking classes in low-income communities. With a new building equipped with a state of the art kitchen, SFC hopes to expand their work and offer a wide variety of cooking and nutrition classes open to the entire Austin community.

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