Residents of 78744 and 78745 lack the infrastructure to purchase or consume healthy food. They face high levels of food insecurity (38%), a high prevalence of fast food restaurants and convenience stores, and lack access to full service grocery stores.
To expand resident access to healthy food options, GAVA partners with the Austin Public Health Department's Fresh for Less program and the Sustainable Food Center to establish community-led farm stands, the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, community gardens, and bilingual cooking classes.
GAVA resident teams collaborate with the Sustainable Food Center to operate weekly farm stands in their neighborhoods. The farm stands are resident-run and offer affordable, locally-sourced produce. They run at high-traffic locations to attract family participation, and purchases can be made with SNAP and double-dollar cards.
The farm stands are operated weekly at the end of the school days at schools or at school bus drop-off points, bringing healthy food to the forefront of students' weekly experience. See the calendar for days, times, and locations of the weekly farm stands.
GAVA teams currently run four weekly farm stands that sell affordable, locally-grown fruits and vegetables to area residents. This program has been widely successful, increasing healthy food access and consumption among GAVA residents by 10-15%.
Healthy Corner Store Initiative
GAVA is also the primary implementer for Austin Public Health’s Healthy Corner Store Initiative, building healthy food access points by catalyzing corner store owners to stock produce and healthy snack options. GAVA organizers have helped residents adopt 8 local corner stores by building relationships with store owners, training them to sell fresh produce and healthy snacks, and host community events to celebrate the store's healthy offerings.
GAVA has been participating in this program since 2015, and is now working to create a sustainable supply chain for fresh produce and healthy snacks to be delivered to participating corner stores on a regular basis.