County of Santa Clara Food Systems Workplan
The Food Systems Workplan Report, approved by the County Board of Supervisors in May 2021, was created to address gaps and improve coordination within the countywide food system. The resulting food system workplan is the product of robust stakeholder engagement and research process conducted by UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) in partnership with County agencies. With seven goals and thirty-nine recommendations, this report provides a roadmap to guide County actions toward creating a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable food system.
1. Enhance food system coordination and leadership
2. Increase community engagement toward greater food sovereignty
3. Maintain farmland, increase agricultural opportunities, and enhance farm viability
4. Build a strong regional food economy where communities and individuals prosper
5. Improve food security and public health through access to nutritious, culturally relevant, and affordable food
6. Expand food recovery and composting
7. Build a constituency for a strong regional food system by increasing food and agricultural education.
Since the adoption of the Workplan, the County has:
- Established a Food Security Working group that includes staff from key County departments and cities and food assistance and charitable food providers in partnership with UCCE to
a) determine the levels of food insecurity among Santa Clara County residents, and
b) quantify the need for food assistance by geography and sociodemographic characteristics and
c) identify strategies to opportunities to meet that need through the utilization of nutrition assistance and food assistance programs.
- Staffed a new Agricultural Liaison position between the County’s Consumer and Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA) and UCCE to provide technical leadership and support to the local agricultural community, notably beginning and historically underrepresented farmers, to facilitate equity-focused projects in food access and sustainable agriculture.
- Launched efforts to explore adopting and implementing the Good Food Purchasing Program.
- Leveraged COVID outreach to underserved families to expand enrollment in CalFresh to maximize their benefits to reduce food insecurity.