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Austin’s food sector has a $4.1 billion economic impact annually and supports more than 43,000 jobs in the metro area according to a recent report presented to the Austin City Council on March 28th. Based on a similar report conducted by the City in 2012, those numbers almost match the amount of money and jobs that all the creative sectors support combined. The report also notes that despite Austin’s bounty, many of our neighbors struggle with hunger and/or health issues related to nutrition.

The first-of-its-kind economic impact analysis on Austin’s food sector looked at 20 different classes of business establishments from agriculture, food processing/manufacturing, food distribution, and retail food/eating and drinking places, to determine their impact annually on the economy. The report focuses on activities that bring new money to Austin or allows residents to be able to buy more products locally.

Some key findings highlight Austin’s creative and entrepreneurial spirit present in the food scene – from locally-made products, to farms, trailers and restaurants.The report also notes that despite Austin’s bounty, many of our neighbors struggle with hunger and/or health issues related to nutrition. You can read all the findings and recommendations from the Austin City Council Report at: http://austintexas.gov/department/economic-growth.

Weigh in on the important factors when discussing Austin's food sector by speaking up now!

Topics

How do you define "local food"? 

38 Responses

Tell us about what "Austin food" means to you.  What do you recommend to visiting family, friends or strangers who ask for a “real Austin” food experience?  Do you think of:

A place?  A meal? A drink? 

There's no limit so please elaborate!  

18 Responses
Topic: Buy Local?

If you eat mostly locally grown or manufactured foods or want to more often, what's missing from the Austin food system?

More places to buy locally grown and manufactured food? Community info on where to buy? Knowing which restaurants support local growers and producers?

If you're not buying local or you don't know if you are, we're curious to know what you see the greatest challenges and opportunities are for the community to improve access?

43 Responses

If you buy locally grown or manufactured foods we're curious to know where you go to purchase?

14 Responses

Where do you go for information about better nutrition and how to eat healthy?

15 Responses

Texas ranks among the top eight states in terms of food insecurity rates, and second in terms of the number of food insecure households. Almost 25% of children in Travis County (56,100) lack consistent access to adequate food due to lack of money and other resources. Is there a specific program or solution that you know is currently working or could be of use in Austin to help address Austin’s hunger issues?

23 Responses