SUSTAINABLE FOOD CENTER INC

Mission

Sustainable Food Center transforms the food system to nourish our health, land, and livelihoods. From seed to table, SFC creates opportunities for individuals to make healthy food choices and to participate in a vibrant local food system. Through organic food gardening, relationships with area farmers, interactive cooking classes and nutrition education, children and adults have increased access to locally grown food and are empowered to improve the long-term health of our community and our environment.

Ruling year info

1987

Executive Director

Mr. Mark Bethell

Deputy Director

Ms. Joy Casnovsky

Main address

2921 E 17TH ST BLDG C

AUSTIN, TX 78702 USA

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Formerly known as

Austin Community Gardens

EIN

74-2441468

NTEE code info

Other Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition N.E.C. (K99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Farm Viability

SFC's Farm Viability programming supports small and mid-sized farms and ranches so they can thrive.

- Small and mid-sized farms can help protect regional food security. They grow a diverse variety of crops making them flexible to market shifts and more resilient to climate events.

- Small and mid-sized farms are leaders in regenerative agriculture practices. These farms protect our soil and biodiversity and avoid use of harmful chemicals that pollute our land.

- Small and mid-sized farms provide jobs and pay proportionally more for farm laborers, maintaining rural populations. They buy and sell in their local economy which supports other local businesses.

Our Supply Chain programming grows connections between Texas producers and buyers, including schools, institutions, and retail markets. We provide buyer education, matchmaking between buyers and growers, and support for farmers interested in selling wholesale. Only 6% of the food grown locally is sold within our region. But demand for locally grown, sustainable fruits and vegetables is on the rise. Buyers from large institutions (schools, hospitals, office complexes) and grocery stores want to bring these foods into their cafeterias, restaurants, and markets, but often they lack the knowledge, connections, or support to make the change into purchasing local food. We work with both buyers and growers to meet everyone’s needs and to build a thriving local food supply chain.

Our Farm Development programming helps farmers and ranchers become wholesale ready and advance their business and regenerative growing goals. With the support of our partners, we supply small group and 1:1 support in scaling up to wholesale production, wholesale pricing, farm marketing, record-keeping tools, grant-writing assistance, farmer scholarships, and much more.

Population(s) Served
Farmers

SFC increases access to farm-fresh, local fruits, and vegetables for individuals and families who use nutrition assistance benefits, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants and Children (WIC). 15% of people in Central Texas experience food insecurity. Systemic barriers to accessing affordable fresh fruits and vegetables have created a food system that fails to meet basic community needs. All SFC Farmers’ Markets accept SNAP benefits, WIC fruit and vegetable benefits, and Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers for WIC-eligible families to purchase fresh fruits and veggies. Our Double Up Food Bucks program matches these benefits, dollar-for-dollar up to $30 per week, to make healthy local food more affordable for low-income communities.

Our programs are a Win-Win-Win scenario that helps:
- INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES: We provide SNAP and WIC incentives that double the amount of benefits individuals and families can spend on local fruits and vegetables.

- LOCAL FARMERS: We help increase sales for local farmers by providing access to a new customer base.

- OUR LOCAL ECONOMY: We help stimulate our local economy by encouraging spending of federal benefits with local businesses.

SFC's Double Up Food Bucks program is now expanding throughout Texas, with participating farmers' markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and grocery stores in more than 50 locations throughout the state.

Population(s) Served
Low-income people

SFC supports the long-term health of our community by offering free cooking and nutrition classes, and free gardening education and resources. We also create educational videos focused on local, seasonal cooking, and regenerative agriculture. Due to the systemic barriers to healthy food access, many communities in Central Texas experience high rates of diet-related disease, food insecurity, and hunger. We build on the healthy cooking and gardening traditions that already exist in many of these communities and help expand their access to resources and knowledge that can help them improve their health.

Our cooking and gardening programs offer resources and skill-building to Central Texans so they can grow and prepare healthy food that is:

LOCAL: We include food systems concepts in our classes, such as shopping at farmers’ markets and growing fruits and vegetables that are tolerant to the Texas climate.

AFFORDABLE: We offer free gardening resources and education so individuals can grow and share their own healthy food, and we emphasize healthy, inexpensive recipes in our cooking classes.

CULTURALLY RELEVANT: We help participants stay connected to their healthy cultural traditions by integrating those foods into our cooking and gardening programs.

SFC's The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre®, a nationally recognized cooking and nutrition education program, aids individuals and institutions in making lasting dietary and behavioral changes. Offering innovative, theory-based, cost-effective solutions to chronic food and nutrition problems impacting individuals and families in Central Texas, The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre:
- Teaches skills and self-sufficiency in preparing healthy, economical meals that consist of whole grains, fresh produce and low-saturated fat ingredients.
- Effects positive changes in shopping, cooking, eating habits and nutrition.
- Reduces diet-related diseases (diabetes, overweight, obesity, heart-disease, cancer, etc.).
- Promotes the health and development of young children.
- Places emphasis on local, seasonal and cultural appropriate foods.
- Integrates food systems concepts into the curriculum, such as shopping at farmers’ markets and growing one’s own food.

SFC's Spread the Harvest program provides free gardening resources, including seeds, plants and compost, to low-income gardeners, and it encourages gardeners to share their harvest with friends, neighbors and food pantries.

Population(s) Served
Low-income people

Where we work

Financials

SUSTAINABLE FOOD CENTER INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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SUSTAINABLE FOOD CENTER INC

Board of directors
as of 08/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Erika Levack

Allure Real Estate

Term: 2021 - 2022

Carrie Dyer

SparkFarm

Erika Levack

Allure Real Estate

Felipe Fernandes

Zello

James Osborn

Worldpay

Jody Madden

Foundry

Nancy Spencer

Aceable

Shelly Sethi

Dr. Shelly Sethi, PLLC

Alan Hendrickson

Silicon Labs

Amy Bell

Whole Foods Market

Bill Longley

Texas Municipal League

Jerry Galvan

Kastner Gravelle

Jessica Gaffney

[email protected]

Laura Estes

H-E-B

Michael Swail

Alive and Well Austin

Naomi Weiner

Ward Advisors

Wendy Wheless

ThruMovement

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/11/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data