Community gardens help provide healthy food for those most in need

July 9, 2016

Food insecurity affects the lives of a growing number of Central Texans. Many are in low-income families — disproportionately Latinos, as ¡Ahora Sí! reported last week — who find themselves without easy access to fresh food.

Some are trying to fill that need with community gardens. [Read More]


February 18, 2016

With a YWCA community garden dating back to 1975 and a Sustainable Food Center in place since 1993, Austin has long been a southern champion for sustainable thinking and planning. Today, community gardens produce at least 100,000 pounds of fresh food every year, and the city has one of the most forward-thinking programs for producing food from livestock—residents can slaughter and sell chickens right in the city center as long as no one sees the bloodshed. [Read More]

Queen Bee: Tara Chapman redefines local with Two Hives Honey

January 29, 2016

It may have started with just two hives, but in less than a year, Tara Chapman went from owning a small honey business to a thriving swarm. Her company, Two Hives Honey, now wrangles neighborhood micro-apiaries managed by unlikely beekeepers. With some help from a 2015 Austin Food & Wine Alliance grant, their mission is to make solitary bees a household name. [Read More]

Happy Kitchen to connect cooks, nutritional education

January 26, 2016

Sustainable Food Center’s The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre® is bringing their free-six week cooking and nutrition education program to Elgin for the first time. [Read More]

Sustainable Food Center awarded $50,000 grant

January 14, 2016

The Sustainable Food Center was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Aetna Foundation to provide education and resources for undeserved communities in Austin, according to a release from the center.Aetna awarded this grant to the center as part of GoLocal: Cultivating Healthy Communities, a program that helps healthy food choices and active living take root in underserved communities. [Read More]

Daily Dish Monday: Nutrition During the 9-to-5

November 2, 2015

More of the country’s employers are doing what they can bring healthier food options to their employees. While we might not be ready to give up our Friday morning doughnut tradition just yet, kudos to Farm to Work, a Texas-based program that brings farm-fresh, local produce to offices where... [read more]

Vegetables Take On Office Doughnuts When Farms Connect With Workers

October 22, 2015

Sujata Gupta, NPR

Employers have long known that one way to employees' hearts is through their stomachs. But these days employers are plying employees not just with doughnuts, but with fresh vegetables, too — an effort to make sure those hearts are healthy. Tech companies are hiring professional chefs to prepare healthful lunches and snacks. And in Texas, a program called Farm To Work is making it easy and affordable for employees to pick up baskets of local produce at the office. It's a new twist on community supported agriculture; call it workplace supported agriculture. [Read More]

Storytelling Spotlight: Sustainable Food Center

October 30, 2015

Andrianna Natsoulas, WhyHunger

While the students at Pecan Springs Elementary School in east Austin went through their mid-day class routines, eleven women graduated in a small portable classroom beside the playing field. Each woman was called up to the front of the room to receive her diploma. The rest of the class applauded between bites of food. For the final class, instructor Lorena Cruz taught them to make two dishes: whole wheat penne pasta with tuna, olives, lemon-olive oil dressing, parsley, onions. That meal, using ingredients from the local HEB grocery store, cost $1.48 per serving The other meal was [read more]

Obesity Prevention Success Stories - Texas' Farm to Work Program

August 15, 2015

Christina Thi, Association of State Public Health Nutritionists

Now in its eighth year, Texas’ Farm to Work Program connects farmers to consumers right at their workplace. Employees can order locally-grown produce each week from the Farm to Work website. Each week, farmers deliver a basket full of fresh seasonal produce. The weekly basket, with a variety of [read more]

Sustainable Food Center Strengthens Access to Nutritious, Affordable Food

August 26, 2015

Lake Austin Lifestyle

Mama always said to eat your fruits and veggies. Sadly, it seems not many of us listened. A new study shows that only one in 10 Americans is eating the daily recommended two cups of fruit and two to three cups of vegetables, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Andrew Smiley and the Sustainable Food Center (SFC) staff are on a mission to change that statistic. The Austin non-profit’s mission is [read more]

Austin's Sustainable Food Center

August 11, 2015

Lisa Rodman, Issuu

Austin seems to breathe the motto that healthy lives are happy lives. From the runners on the trails around Lady Bird Lake, to the bikers whizzing through scenic roads, health is a central piece of the Austin lifestyle. All that exercise means Austinites have a lot of healthy eating to do [read more]

Sustainable Food Center in Austin Texas Goes Solar With Help From SunPower

August 8, 2015

Solar Thermal Magazine

SunPower Corporation, and SunPower Elite Dealer Freedom Solar announced today the completion of a 14 kilowatt solar power system for Austin’s Sustainable Food Center at a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by [read more]

Donated High Efficiency SunPower System Expected to Save Center 40 Percent on Electric Costs

August 8, 2015


SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR), a leading solar technology and global energy services provider, and SunPower Elite Dealer Freedom Solar announced today the completion of a 14 kilowatt solar power system for Austin's Sustainable Food Center at a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by [read more]

SunPower and Freedom Solar Bring Clean Energy to Sustainable Food Center in Austin

August 8, 2015


AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ: SPWR), a leading solar technology and global energy services provider, and SunPower Elite Dealer Freedom Solar announced today the completion of a 14 kilowatt solar power system for Austin's Sustainable Food Center at a ribbon cutting ceremony attended [read more]

Home Matters: Grow summer squash; back to school finds, ideas

August 7, 2015

Austin American-Statesman

A mild, nutty tasting vegetable that sometimes resembles fresh corn, yellow squash is a summer squash — a subset of squashes harvested when immature, while the rind is tender. Unlike winter squashes, which grow in a rambling fashion, yellow squash is a bushy plant. Also unlike winter squashes, which are harvested after their skin has thickened and can therefore be stored for months, yellow squash must be eaten within [read more]

Honey Rosemary Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes

August 7, 2015

Field & Feast

This recipe comes from The Happy Kitchen Cookbook. The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre® is a program of the Sustainable Food Center; the book is used in classes where volunteer facilitators learn to cook seasonally, locally, healthfully and on a budget, and then take what they’ve learned back into their communities. [See Recipe Here]

The 6 Leading Cities in Urban Farming

August 6, 2015


Austin is the city where 100,000 pounds of local fresh food is produced in their gardens each year. This urban farming has been successful in Austin since 1975, but it improved even more when they founded the Sustainable Food Center back in 1993. Austin has an excellent system for local food production [read more]

Best Markets in Austin

July 22, 2015

Rachel Mauer, The Culture Trip

SFC Farmers’ Market, or Sustainable Food Center Farmers’ Market, is a farmers' market that happens every Saturday in downtown Austin. This farmers' market provides an array of vendors with fresh, local, and organic food as well as live music. SFC also provides opportunities for patrons to start their [read more]

Home Matters: Plant tomatoes now for fall harvest; personalize shoes

July 10, 2015

Austin American-Statesman

Did you miss the opportunity to plant tomatoes this spring? Not to worry! In Central Texas, we get a second chance to plant. The goal of planting tomatoes in the summer heat is to nurse plants until temperatures drop in the fall, at which point the plants will be ready to produce a crop. Tomatoes only set fruit when temperatures are below 90 degrees, so your late-season plants will wait for fall.

When planting tomatoes in July, start them [read more]

Farm to Plate

July 15, 2015

Vetta Magazine

Thirty local chefs and more than 600 guests helped Sustainable Food Center celebrate its 40th anniversary year at SFC's 8th annual Farm to Plate fundraiser at Barr Mansion. SFC also presented the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Suzanne Santos, SFC's Farmer's Market Director, with the Changemaker award at the event. The Changemaker award honors individuals and organizations that have contributed to SFC's mission in a significant way. [See More]

A Fond Farewell to Suzanne Santos

June 5, 2015

Virginia Wood, Austin Chronicle

A Fond Farewell: On Saturday, May 30, more than 100 people gathered at the Sustainable Food Center offices (2921 E. 17th) to bid a fond farewell to longtime farmers' market director Suzanne Santos, who is moving to Oregon at the end of this month. It was very fitting that the tables were loaded with a bountiful display of the best fresh food and drinks Central Texas has to offer, because Santos has made the success of SFC's farmers' markets her life's work for the past 15 years. The crowd dined on [Read More]

Homemade Food For Your Baby

May 15, 2015

Amanda Tatom, KXAN

Making fresh food for your baby doesn’t have to be difficult or intimidating. Jessica Burleson of Sustainable Food Center dropped in to show us how to quickly make fresh, healthy food for our little ones that will get them off to a healthy start with solid food.

[Read More]

Retiring Farmers Market Manager Brought Farm to Austin Tables: Suzanne Santos traces interest in agriculture back to her childhood

May 6, 2015

Beth Goulart Monson, Austin American-Statesman

The house built on wheels has hookups for a stacked washer-dryer combo. “I’m not going to rough it,” Suzanne Santos says. But this is one tiny house.

Inspired by the “tiny house” movement and helped by friends, Santos is finishing construction on a 253-square-foot home atop a trailer. Next month, after she retires as the farmers market manager for the Sustainable Food Center, Santos will start the ignition on a rented truck and tow her homemade retirement home to the Northwest. She will leave a community of farmers and colleagues disappointed to see her go.

In her 15 years in Austin, she has brought the farm to tables all over the city.

[Read More]

Third Annual Sustainable Food Changemaker Awards

April 7, 2015

Vetta Magazine

Sustainable Food Center, responsible for cultivating a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food, will present the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Suzanne Santos, SFC farmers’ market director for more than a decade, with the Sustainable Food Changemaker award at its Farm to Plate event, Thursday, May 14 from 6:30- 9:30 p.m. at Barr Mansion. The Changemaker award honors individuals and organizations that have contributed to SFC’s mission in a significant way.

[Read More]

Sustainable Food Center: Good for the Soul

April 1, 2015

Ellen Orabone, Edible Austin

Community Gardens are on the rise in Austin. While the growing number of community gardens can be attributed to the heightened awareness of the health benefits of local, fresh food, we at the Sustainable Food Center (SFC) are convinced that more Austinites are growing their own food because many of them realize that gardening is good for the soul.

Outdoor gardening has several proven health benefits for adults and children.

[Read More]

Lemony Mustard Chickpea Salad

March 16, 2015

Megan Meyers, Stetted

Last week I had the pleasure of attending an event at the Sustainable Food Center (SFC) hosted by Texas Oncology. We were there to learn about diet as it relates to cancer prevention and recovery and heard from an oncologist, a registered dietician, and the SFC chef cooking that night.

It turns out that eating for cancer prevention is much the same as [Read More]

2015 Local Food Heroes

March 10, 2015

Edible Austin

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the Sustainable Food Center (SFC). This nonprofit and its dedicated staff of program directors, garden managers, farmers’ market coordinators and educators have their figurative hands deep in almost everything related to local food and sustainability that occurs in Austin. A large part of this is literal, too, and involves showing people how easy it is to roll up their sleeves and plunge their hands into real dirt. SFC was founded over two decades ago [Read More]

How to Build a Raised Garden Bed

March 1, 2015

Gretchen Goswitz, Austin Fit Magazine

With the cover story of this issue focused on sustainability, the staff at AFM saw this as a perfect opportunity to start a gardening section in the magazine. It’s our way of showing you how to get directly involved in growing your own food and, in return, improve your health and the health of those around you. We realize that gardening is a long-term process—so we’re giving the topic its own monthly column. My hope: to pique your interest enough to give your green thumb a try.

[Read More]

Choose Healthier Provider Spotlight: Sustainable Food Center!

February 27, 2015

It's Time Texas

Our Choose Healthier Provider Sustainable Food Center, founded in 1975 as the Austin Community Gardens, has grown into much more than their beautiful gardens. Through organic gardening, relationships with area farmers, interactive cooking classes and nutrition education, children and adults in Central Texas have increased access to locally grown food! SFC provides these wonderful programs, which will all be listed on the Choose Healthier app:

[Read More]

Lessons From Community Partners

February 26, 2015

The EcoRise Blog

Connecting with community partners is a great way to bring diverse perspectives and interesting activities into the classroom. Over the years, several EcoRise trained teachers in Austin have reached out to The Sustainable Food Center (SFC) to bring volunteers into the classroom to discuss a variety of topics including gardening, healthy eating, and access to food. The SFC cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. SFC envisions a food-secure community where all children and adults grow, share, and prepare healthy, local food.

Ashton Hall, Environmental Systems teacher at Anderson High School in Austin, recently invited the SFC to the classroom to supplement [Read More]

Farming Your Own Backyard

February 13, 2015

Farming Crops

The world’s turn in focus from consumption to production has caused a renewed focus in sustainable living. Cities around the world are finding new ways to use renewable energy and decrease dependency on fossil fuels. And they are trying to stimulate the people to act for themselves and join the movement toward a “Green” planet.

Austin is doing its part. [Keep Reading]

Sustainable Food Center: Farm to Work

January 1, 2015

Evan Driscoll, Edible Austin

After working on farms for six years, I've made the plunge back into the office. One of the perks of working on a farm was the physical health it afforded me. Because I was in constant motion and had access to all the fruits, veggies, and proteins I could eat, I never worried about diet-related health problems. Now, even though I work at a desk, I'm realizing just how important highly accessible, locally-sourced fruits and vegetables are in the workplace.

[Read More]

10 Cities Leading the Conversation on Sustainable Eating

November 17, 2014


Austin’s Sustainable Food Center provides the community with a variety of ways to get involved in food solutions. Whether it’s growing their own food, meeting local farmers, or learning to cook seasonally and nutritiously, citizens can actively engage in creating a more sustainable food system.

Read More

Ortega Elementary sells oranges – not chocolate! – to raise funds

November 15, 2014

Pam LeBlanc, Austin360

It really bothers me when schools try to raise money by selling sugar loaded treats like candy bars and caramel corn. Aren’t we supposed to be teaching our children to eat healthy?

That’s why I love what’s happening at Ortega Elementary School in Austin.

Students and staff there are selling 20-pound bags of organic oranges grown in South Texas to raise money for field trips and extracurricular activities not covered by federal funding.


SFC Awarded 2014 Access Award from the Austin Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities

October 28, 2014

The AMCPD’s Access Awards are given annually in celebration of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which many consider to be our nation’s second Independence Day. Winners not only meet the accessibility requirements of the ADA but go above and beyond when providing goods and services to customers with disabilities.

Making Farm-to-Table Available for All

October 14, 2014

Time Warner Cable News

For the last 40 years, the Sustainable Food Center has dedicated itself to connecting local farmers with the general public.

In 2006, the SFC created their own farmer’s market at the Triangle complex near 45th and Guadalupe. It’s part of the nonprofit’s effort to cultivate a healthy community and make nutritious foods more accessible and affordable.


Stretch Recipes Wants to Help People Eat Better on a Budget

September 2, 2014

Laura Lorek, Silicon Hill News

Lauren Foster is on a mission.

She wants everyone to eat better and save more money.

Foster, the co-founder and CEO of Stretch Recipes, an Austin-based startup, is creating a mobile phone app that lets people on tight budgets make their dollars go further while still buying nutritious food base on pre-planned recipes. The app lists ingredients and provides coupons for a discount.


Cooking 101 – A field trip to the Sustainable Food Center

May 28, 2014

Urban Roots

A few weeks ago, half of our youth interns attended a cooking class at The Sustainable Food Center. Each youth received a copy of the recipes they would be using during the class, and information on healthy food choices. The room was ready to go once we arrived with each youth having their own work area with knives and and apron. They learned the basics in how to use a knife properly and safely, and practiced their new skills on veggies from the farm.


Party Pix: Sustainable Food Center’s 7th Annual Farm to Plate Fundraiser

May 23, 2014

Austin Monthly

Diners were treated to an Oz-inspired evening to raise funds for the Sustainable Food Center with its 7th annual Farm to Plate fundraiser, "In the Land of Green." At this sip 'n' stroll event, guests dined on nibbles from exciting Austin area restaurants, such as Uchi, Odd Duck, La Condesa, Contigo and more.


Sip and Stroll for Sustainable Food

May 4, 2014

Natural Awakenings

Building upon the success of six sold-out years with enhancements such as VIP options and an award honoring a local food scene hero, more than 25 local chefs will create the food for The Land of Green, the seventh annual Farm to Plate Sustainable Food Center (SFC) event, from 6: 30 to 9:30 p.m., May 8, at the historic Barr Mansion.


Food Stamps Go Farther at Austin Farmers' Markets

April 26, 2014

Genevieve Cato, Burnt Orange Report

Over the last six months, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has experienced multiple budget cuts. It was even a part of Paul Ryan's budget plan. While assistance for needy families is under attack at the federal level, an organization in Austin is continuing to expand access to fresh produce for those receiving SNAP benefits and increasing their purchasing power at local farmers' markets.

What started in 2012 at two of the Sustainable Food Center's markets in Austin has expanded to all of their Austin locations.


Sustainable Food Center recognized for helping low-income families eat healthy

April 17, 2014

Monica Ayala-Talavera, KXAN

The Sustainable Food Center of Austin will receive an award for providing access to healthy, affordable food to children and adults from the People’s Community Clinic.

The chief executive officer of the People’s Community Clinic, Regina Rogoff, said they were presenting the award to the Sustainable Food Center because they have “connected small growers with farmers markets, educated low-income families about healthy eating and trained participants to be leaders in their neighborhoods.



March 27, 2014

All of the Sustainable Food Center Farmer' Markets provide space for local musicians to entertain as you shop around the market. With a variety of genres each week you will find new artists singing, playing, or rocking out. Check the "This Week at the Market" section of their website for a line-up of scheduled performers. (You can also check out my recent post about taking my three boys to the Downtown market.) When & Where: The SFC has markets East, at the Triangle, Downtown, and in Sunset Valley. Check the website for details of location and times for each market.

See Article


March 25, 2014

Austin Urban Gardens

May 8, 2014 – Sustainable Food Center Farm to Plate: Sip and stroll format, with lots of local chefs, at the beautiful Barr Mansion. Proceeds benefit the Sustainable Food Center and their many fabulous programs.



March 20, 2014

Hilltop Views

In addition to offering hundreds of places to exercise outside, Austin serves as the host city for a variety of outdoor farmer’s markets. Weekly and biweekly, local vendors and farmers in Austin come together to sell their fresh, organic and original products.

The Sustainable Food Center (SFC), a non-profit company based in Austin, organizes a market each week in four different locations, one of which is hosted just eight minutes (by car) away from the St. Edward’s campus at Republic Square Park on 4th and Guadalupe. The markets offer everything from Kombucha to cage-free eggs.



March 24, 2014

The Dig In

Jenni: Most of the seeds I use to start plants indoors and to directly sow in the garden were free. The Sustainable Food Center has a great food sharing program called Spread The Harvest. They offer seeds, starts and compost in return for you tracking what you grow and sharing extras with people in your community, friends, neighbors or soup kitchens. I appreciate that the seeds they provide are non-gmo.



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.



February 12, 2014

By Vince Trotter, Good Food Web

We recently had a conversation with Elizabeth Winslow of Austin, TX about her work to build good food enterprises and support other entrepreneurs who are doing the same. Winslow started the upscale Liberty Market & Café in Beaumont, TX and later founded Farmhouse Delivery - a successful direct-to-consumer service for putting local, sustainable produce into the hands of eaters around the Austin area. She currently is Director of Communications for the Sustainable Food Center and devotes a lot of time and energy to connecting new food entrepreneurs to the resources and knowledge they need to get their own enterprise off the ground. Here’s what she had to say about her own work to change the food system and support more good food businesses.


SFC Awarded People's Community Clinic 2014 W. Neal Kocurek Healthcare Advocacy Award

SFC Awarded 2014 Ethics in Business and Community Award

Established in 1991 by the Samaritan Counseling Center and adopted by RecognizeGood® on its 10th anniversary, the Ethics in Business & Community Awards (EiBC) are an annual honor for individuals, businesses and nonprofits who demonstrate exemplary ethical practices. As our community grows in size, diversity and complexity, more and more of those who believe doing the right thing is good business are joining this movement to preserve and expand the ethical environment that allows our businesses to prosper, grow and better support the greater Austin communities.