Civic Futures Awards

Working across the community for better food policy

Austin Office of Sustainability

Food Policy Board

The problem

How can the City of Austin make it more simple and cost-effective to run a safe, and compliant healthy food pantry?

Solution / Approach

Differentiate charitable feeding organizations (CFOs) from other food establishments and establish category subtypes, create registration process and best management practices with Austin Public Health for each subtype based on level of risk, and waive fees for CFOs.

Core team
  • Edwin Marty
  • Amanda Rohlich
  • Sharon Mays
  • Lisa Barden
  • Whitney Johnson
  • Elizabeth Pena
  • Emily De Maria
Key advisors
  • Office of Design & Delivery
  • Austin Public Health
  • Austin-Travis County Food
  • Policy Board
  • Development Services
  • Austin Water
  • Austin Resource Recovery
  • Foundation Communities
  • Food pantry operators
  • Central Texas Food Bank
  • Regional Partners
  • Keep Austin Fed
  • Central Texas Food Bank
What can make it sustainable?

Buy-in from City Council for fee waivers and continued cooperation from City Department Executives and Staff to revise and develop new processes.

Advice to others

While we did a good job of mapping stakeholders in the early stages, we didn’t necessarily understand the full environment enough to know who the specific contacts of key individual players would be. I would spend more time identifying these people earlier.