San Mateo Food System Alliance
The San Mateo County Food System Alliance has been breaking ground for the Food System Alliance movement since its formation in November 2006. As the first Food System Alliance in California, the group has sought to bring together all the parts of the San Mateo County food system into a cohesive group capable of creating an ever healthier and more vibrant local food economy.
Throughout 2007 the group worked hard to hear and understand the very different perspectives on food and farming in the County from the views of “coast-side” farmers and fishermen to “bay-side” community service workers struggling against poverty and obesity. This is the first Alliance in California to seat both the County’s Agricultural Commissioner and its Public Health Officer, creating an unprecedented opportunity to link local food production to healthy citizens.
San Mateo County Food System Alliance 2012 Accomplishments
➢ The San Mateo County Food System Alliance organized and hosted a school garden award ceremony and completed two pilot projects in the county, working with school officials and farmers to get fresh, local produce into schools. These resulted in the development of new farm-to-school relationships and contracts.
➢ The SMFSA continued to engage with the local Board of Supervisors, giving multiple presentations on the Alliance’s findings and recommendations. The group also co-sponsored and facilitated a workshop on agricultural land preservation with Supervisor Horsley, which will also inform the future work of the Alliance’s Land Use Committee.
➢ Alliance members used their 2011 publication, Why Sustainable Food is Important and How Your City, Town, or Community Can Contribute to a Sustainable Food System, as the basis for a series of meetings with city representatives in Burlingame and Redwood City to discuss implementation of sustainable food policies.
➢ The Alliance launched a Food System Assessment, which is still underway.
➢ The Alliance secured funding to conduct an Aggregation Feasibility Study. A Steering Committee was pulled together and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) has been contracted to carry out the study.
➢ SMFSA launched a social media effort, including a new Facebook page, to build community linkages.
RFP Release for San Mateo County Ag Ombudsman
May 2013 San Mateo County has released an RFP for an agricultural ombudsman position for the County, which will be overseen by the Ag Commissioner’s office. The need for an agricultural ombudsman was clearly expressed during the San Mateo County Ag Workshop held in November, 2012 which was co-sponsored by Supervisor Don Horsley and the San Mateo Food System Alliance (SMFSA).Read More »
Jesse Cool at the San Mateo FSA’s 2nd Annual School/Afterschool Garden Ceremony on 4/27
Join the SMFSA, Get Healthy San Mateo County, and featured guest speaker Jesse Cool at the 2nd Annual School/Afterschool Garden Ceremony on Saturday 4/27.Read More »
SMFSA Members Release Report: Farming and Farmland Report on San Mateo County Land Use
January 2013 SMFSA Members, Jered Lawson and Ned Conwell, and Pie Ranch staff Jessica Beckett released a report looking at farmland availability and preservation on San Mateo County.Read More »
SMFSA Farm to School Pilot Project Presentation
Founding Alliance members Robin Galas and Jennifer Gross presented at the American Public Health Association’s 140th Annual Meeting.Read More »
SMFSA Announces release of food policy brief
June 2012 Producing, Distributing, and Consuming Healthy Local Food: Ingredients for a Sustainable Food System is now available online.Read More »