Bastrop County Local Food Action Plan

The Bastrop County Local Food Action Plan (BC-LFAP) is being developed in 2023 and 2024 by the Bastrop County Local Food Action Partnership, a project initiated by the Texas Center for Local Food with our community partners. The overarching goal of this project is to strengthen the capacity and resilience of our local food system in Bastrop County.

Project Partners and Collaborators

Texas Center for Local Food – Austin Moline, Sue Beckwith, Rebecca Jamar
Bastrop County Cares – Norma Mercado, Catherine Pressler
Bastrop Emergency Food Pantry – Tresha Silva
City of Smithville – Jill Strube
Farmshare Austin – Michelle Akindiya
Foodshed Investors – Jarred Maxwell
Green Gate Farms – Skip Connett
Iowa State University – Courtney Long, Megan Kemp

a map of bastrop county

Values

The foundation of this project is on a shared set of values that provide stable ground for moving forward:

Equitable – We value a food system that is racially and socially equitable and that cherishes the knowledge, skills, and lived experience of all people.

Healthy – We value the health of all people. Food that is nourishing, available, and accessible is critical to the well-being of individuals and families.

Connectedness – We value relationships built on trust as essential for working collaboratively and honoring community voices in our food system.

Thriving Economies – We value economies that support jobs with dignity, where the food supply chain prioritizes small and mid-size family farms, ranches, and food businesses.

Environmental Sustainability – We value a food system that preserves and strengthens ecological health in Texas for present and future generations.

Vision

Our vision is that regional food systems in Texas support prosperous family farms, healthy Texans, and vibrant rural economies

Goals

The goals of the project are to:

1) Ensure the economic viability of local farm and food businesses

2) Increase access to fresh, healthy produce, especially in underserved communities

3) Increase local consumption of locally grown healthy foods

4) Ensure the responsible use of farmland and the protection of environmental health

The Action Plan

This plan will provide a living roadmap for continuing the work of strengthening the Bastrop County Food System. The Action Plan will provide an overview of the primary findings from the food system research conducted in its development, and most importantly, the tangible steps that will be taken in response to the needs of our community. This is not a document that will sit on a shelf, unused. Instead it will serve as a launch point for continued community action for getting the work done of supporting our farm and food business and the people they serve.

Projects and Impact

Projects under consideration include:

  • Expanding the Elgin Farmers’ Market SNAP Program
  • Creating seed libraries
  • Gleaning for food pantries
  • Prime farmland and water access mapping
  • Raising awareness of local food business support services
  • Supporting local school districts to purchase from Texas farms
  • Meat processor business development
  • Story Corps projects
  • Media storytelling and sharing the past histories of local food in Bastrop County
  • Consumer education and outreach
  • Creating and hosting a Bastrop County local food fair
  • Quarterly media outreach to highlight the local food system
  • Launching a local food directory
  • and working to create our own branded crop for Bastrop County!

Please stay tuned as these exciting possibilities develop- we look forward to working with you!

What’s Happening in 2023 and 2024?

This Partnership is working together to assess the state of the food system in Bastrop County; identifying strengths and gaps, and engaging with the community to better understand how best to address challenges, and center strengths, in our County. Projects for the Action Plan are being selected based on this research and feedback. Our process includes identifying how long projects will take, who is willing to own the responsibility of championing the project, reviewing how well projects match the goals and values of the Partnership, and concretely identifying how the community will benefit.

The Partnership includes a collaborative working relationship with the Iowa State University (ISU) Farm and Food Team, who are providing valuable support for our work of growing a stronger local food system in Bastrop County.

Get Involved

Growing the resilience and vitality of our local food system will remain an ongoing effort. We would value your voice, and any contribution you may be willing to make, towards accomplishing the goals described for our vision of the Bastrop County Food System. Everyone eats! Would you like to learn more? Please contact us.

Resources

Iowa State University Community Food Systems Program

Hunger Free Communities – 2018 Bastrop County Report

Community Advancement Network Dashboard

Central Texas Food Bank- Central Texas Food System Dashboard

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