SOURCE Cleveland, David, et al. “Effect of Localizing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Nutrition, Santa Barbara County.” Environmental Science & Technology 45, 10 (2011): 4555-4562.
Localizing the Food System
A localized food system encompasses the closed-loop path of food as it moves from farm to table within the same region, including where it is grown, processed, distributed, consumed, and disposed of.
Agriculture in Santa Barbara County is valued at
5% of the county’s GDP, compared with the state of California, where agriculture is 2% of the GDP.
From Plan to Network
UCSB Study: Lack of Localized Food Infrastructure and Consumption
Listening Sessions: 200 Community Members spent 1,200 Hours
SBC Food Action Plan Published
Working Groups Begin Activating Plan Goals
SBC Food Action Network Launched
Organizational Structure Finalized
$150K Granted to Food System Projects
Capital Opportunities for Food System Projects Explored
Core Team Established
Loan Pilot Program Launched
Four new Working Groups launched
The Role of the Network
The Santa Barbara County Food Action Network (SBCFAN) accelerates the activation of Food Action Plan goals by connecting, aligning, and activating a network of food system changemakers – from producer to consumer and everything in between – to develop a robust local food economy, a healthy and just community, and a well-stewarded, resilient foodshed.
By convening and coordinating working groups, SBCFAN brings together individuals from across the food system to collaborate on projects that result in the activation of one or more Food Action Plan goals across four areas of investment. Active and developing working groups are building regional capacity to strengthen our food system.
Identifying, informing, and advocating for policies that more effectively support an equitable and resilient food system ensures that our Network can help advance economic development, social justice, and environmental sustainability. Current priorities at the federal, state, and county levels include:
Farm and ranch land preservation
Access to resources
Food Action Plan 2.0
Since 2016, numerous external shocks and political and social movements have illuminated gaps in our regional food system – and the Food Action Plan. In response, SBCFAN is developing Food Action Plan 2.0 to incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice into the activation of Plan goals. Our current and emerging work to address these gaps is BIPOC-informed and stewarded and includes: launching working groups in the areas of food sovereignty, nutrition, health, and education; sharing resources equitably; and providing accessible pathways for advocacy.
According to collective impact research data, storytelling is the most effective form of measuring a network’s impact. SBCFAN equitably elevates food system stories for those who would not have the means or time to capture them on their own. These stories initiate new working groups, identify policy gaps and barriers, and are used by the storytellers as education and marketing tools.
“Connecting residents to food grown in our region is common sense. SBF invests in the Santa Barbara County Food Action Network (SBCFAN) to improve food systems and provide better access to food, especially for Santa Barbara County’s low- and middle-income residents. The work SBCFAN does today will secure a healthier, sustainable, and more food-secure Santa Barbara County (and beyond) for generations to come.”
President AND CEO
Santa Barbara Foundation
PHOTO: J ANDREW HILL / PHAROS CREATIVE
Your gift is critical to our success.
The inequities and gaps in our food system may be complex, interconnected, and deeply-rooted, but the Food Action Plan provides a comprehensive road map for how together, we have the power to make it more vibrant, equitable, and resilient for all.
Your investment would directly support:
- Staff to implement strategy, operations, finance, working group coordination, communications, website management, marketing, and events
- Grant writing funds to share countywide to support food system projects
- Seed funds to launch a revolving loan program for food system projects
- Regional innovation that can be iterated nationally