Community Nutrition & Healthy Food Access
GAVA’s work in food access brings neighbors and community leaders together to increase the availability and appeal of produce and other healthy food options. Many residents of 78744 and 78745 face high levels of food insecurity (38%), a high prevalence of fast food restaurants and convenience stores, and/or 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 Initiative and the Sustainable Food Center to establish the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, community-led neighborhood farm stands, community gardens, and more.
GAVA leaders collaborate with the Sustainable Food Center to operate weekly farm stands in their neighborhoods. Facilitated by residents, these produce stands offer affordable, locally-sourced organic produce at about half the cost of the typical farmers market. These stands operate at schools and recreation centers—high-traffic locations that attract families and neighbors. Purchases can be made with SNAP and double-dollar credits can be redeemed here!
Currently, resident leaders and teams run four weekly farm stands in the two zip codes. See the calendar for days, times, and locations of the weekly farm stands.
Healthy Corner Store Initiative
GAVA runs Austin’s Healthy Corner Store Initiative, increasing healthy food access by partnering with local corner store owners to stock produce and healthy snack options. GAVA organizers have helped residents adopt eight local corner stores by building relationships with store owners, training them to sell fresh produce and healthy snacks, and hosting community events to celebrate the store's healthy offerings.
GAVA kicked off the pilot for this program in 2015, and is now working with Austin Public Health to create a sustainable supply chain for fresh produce and healthy snacks to be delivered to participating corner stores on a regular basis, with a goal of diversifying options on the shelf and lowering price points.