In 2006 a group of leaders in San Mateo County convened to brainstorm ideas on what they could do collaboratively to benefit their community. Thus, the Food System Alliance was created to create a stable food system that is “economically viable, environmentally sound and socially equitable” while contributing to the health of the citizens of San Mateo.
The FSA connects “food producers, farm -workers, conservationists, health-care workers, food-security activists, chefs and consumers.” By creating these collaborations San Mateo County is able to guide its food system to create stable employment and stable access to healthy food.
FSA Programs that Impact Local Residents: As Fresh As It Gets Campaign
Last summer (’09) the FSA launched a new logo to help consumers purchase from local food sources. The logo showed up in stores, restaurants and farmers markets. The campaign provided information on where to find local food in stores and in restaurants and also provided information on which products where available to purchase throughout the growing season.
Food and Farm Bill
The FSA advocates for reforming the Federal Food and Farm Bill to transition funds towards providing healthy food for Californians in a manner that benefits the local ecosystems. Collective Roots is a founding member of the FSA and works with the FSA to educate elected officials and the public on the federal Farm Bill and reforms that should take place.
Efforts Made in 2008:
- Promoting integrated health and nutrition education programs at all local elementary schools.
- Enhancing the connection between local producers and large institutional buyers of food.
- Encouraging increased local food production by looking at land use patterns in the County.
Submitted by Ruth Peterson, San Mateo
- Learn more about the Food System Alliance at:
- The FSA Constitution can be viewed at:
- News from the FSA:
- As Fresh As It Gets campaign brochure:
- FSA’s outreach to local politicians to become more involved in the Food and Farm Bill: