We are thrilled to share an exciting milestone that our Food Access Department reached this week: Our first ever Community Engagement Workshop for Farm Stand Facilitators! Hailing from all across Austin, 10 Farm Stand Facilitators participated in our workshop. These individuals are community leaders from Rundberg, Dove Springs, and Far South, and they participated in the workshop as an effort to expand their portfolio of outreach tactics and increase their impact in their communities in a peer learning environment.
This was an event of many “firsts”…
- The first time that all Farm Stand Facilitators representing 6 sites came together
- The first visit to the SFC office for many of our Farm Stand Facilitators
- Our first shared meal as a full Farm Stand group
The Farm Stands project is based on community input and resident leadership from head to toe. In keeping with SFC’s model for engagement, we have worked alongside community leaders to plan and execute Farm Stands since the project began in 2015, knowing that their expertise is essential to the success of this work. To have our entire Facilitator group visit SFC, work together to improve their collective message, and gain a deeper understanding of the support that SFC can offer, was an exciting milestone for us all!
During the 3-hour workshop, the members from our Food Access Department guided conversations and exercises around successful community engagement strategies. We also encouraged Facilitators to tap into the resources that we have to offer, such as farmer visits to Farm Stands, cooking demonstrations at Farm Stands, and participating in our Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre® and Grow Local programming in their area. We were delighted that all Facilitators enjoyed a lunch together and continued exploring opportunities to connect.
Our survey results were very positive, with everyone rating the training 5/5 with the exception of some who expressed the desire for there to have been more time allocated to learning together. That’s what we love to hear!