Sustainable Food Center recognizes the importance of urban farms like Springdale Farms. As they approach the final stage in securing a permit to operate, we ask others to learn about Springdale Farms’ contribution to our community and share your thoughts with City Council. SFC’s letter to Mayor Adler and City Council is below, and includes links to learn and to take action. #WeAreSpringdale
- Springdale Farm, http://www.springdalefarmaustin.com/
- Springdale on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/SpringdaleFarmATX
- Springdale Center for Urban Agriculture, http://springdalecenter.org/
- Petition in support of Springdale Farm, https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/austin-says-yes-to-springdale-farm
TO: Mayor Steve Adler and the Austin City Council
Submitted via: http://austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members
On behalf of Sustainable Food Center, I am writing to express our support for Springdale Farm and the approval of their conditional use permit. Springdale Farm is a vital community asset that provides access to healthy food, offers educational opportunities for children and adults, and serves as a space where families and the community can gather.
Springdale Farm goes far beyond the role of local business that contributes to our local economy and provides meaningful jobs. As conscientious members of the community, farm owners Glenn and Paula Foore are committed to providing nutritious and affordable food for the neighborhood. They have taken great strides to ensure that even those who struggle to afford healthy, local fruits and vegetables can shop at their farm stand. As part of a City of Austin Health and Human Services contract, Sustainable Food Center is providing training and technical assistance to Springdale so they can accept SNAP (formerly food stamp) benefits. Going a step further, our partnership allows Springdale Farm to double the value of SNAP benefits to help families stretch their food budgets and eat healthily.
Springdale Farm is also home to the nonprofit Springdale Center for Urban Agriculture. The hands-on experiential learning model employed through field trips, tours, and classes held at Springdale helps children establish a foundation for healthy lifestyles, teaches the community about sustainable food systems, and encourages both adults and kids to develop new gardening and cooking skills. Recently, Springdale’s work has grown to include on-farm research to identify climate-adaptive plant varieties, further contributing to the body of knowledge about environmentally sustainable growing practices needed in our changing environment.
Springdale Farm rounds out their contributions to the community by hosting gatherings for families and other groups, including weddings and dinners and fundraisers for area nonprofit and service organizations. Offering paid events (in a commercially zoned area) allows the Foore family to continue supporting charities and causes vital to our community, and helps underwrite their educational programming and their ongoing commitment to healthy and affordable food access.
In considering the vote for Springdale Farm’s conditional use permit, we urge Mayor Adler and City Council members to consider it a vote for healthy and affordable food, for homegrown educational opportunities, and for community gathering spaces.
If I can provide any additional information, please feel free to contact me at any time.
Andrew W. Smiley, SFC Deputy Director