Whether you’re starting a new farmers market or building shared use commercial kitchen to support your downtown, the Council of Development Finance Agencies’ (CDFI) Food System Finance Initiative has excellent research and webinar series to guide you.

Keep in mind that “food initiatives” aren’t always about local farms or Texas agriculture. Lots of “local food” work includes supporting food trucks and other businesses that, while they provide jobs and economic activity (and that’s great), their ingredients are usually imported from outside Texas and outside the U.S.

Be clear about your goals and values. Write them down and use them to direct your decisions. If, for example, you want to support local farmers, then be sure your development incentives require outcomes that support farmers. If you want to support healthy food initiatives, be clear about that! While that bakery make smell great in your downtown, think about what healthy food will be available.

Most importantly, do it! Use local food, Texas grown food, to bring energy and economic vitality to your town, neighborhood, or community.

CDFA Food Systems Finance Webinar Series: Neighborhood Revitalization Through Food Systems Finance. The full list of food system financing resources on the CDFI site:

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