City Council to Take Action on Food Action Policy

Urban Farm Tomato

Image Credit: TCDavis (

Thanks to the work of the Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council, Asheville City Council will consider a proposed food action plan to move the city toward food security and to provide a more supportive atmosphere for urban farming.  Posted below are the documents to be considered.  Please consider contacting City Council (here’s their contact info) to express your support for the plan.  You can also attend the meeting to show City Council that this is something that our community truly supports.  Please share this post in order to garner as much support as possible!



WHEREAS, the City of Asheville believes that all citizens should have access to healthy, nutritious food and that our community should be able to sustain its nutritional needs year-round with regionally grown, processed and stored healthy food; and

WHEREAS, The Asheville Buncombe  Food Policy Council defines healthy food as grown locally through organic and permaculture principles, from seeds, plants, and animals that are not genetically modified and in a manner that builds the fertility of the soil; and

WHEREAS, all communities should be empowered with access to resources and information needed to innovate and implement strategies for food security and resiliency; and

WHEREAS, our regional food economy can thrive and promote social and ecological sustainability, providing for human needs while protecting the diversity and abundance of our bioregion, including our forest land, agricultural land and watershed; and

WHEREAS, The City of Asheville recognizes that intact, biodiverse and healthy forest ecosystems provide abundant food and clean water in perpetuity.

WHEREAS, all citizens should enjoy food sovereignty through access to clean water, air and land, as well as the ability to cultivate, harvest, process, sell, share and trade food in order to thrive and empower their own resilience.


1. The City of Asheville approves the attached Food Policy Goals and Action Plan by incorporating it into the previously adopted Sustainability Management Plan.

Read, approved and adopted this XXX if YYY.

___________________________                                    _____________________________

City Clerk                                                                    Mayor

Approved as to form:


City Attorney

City of Asheville Long Term Food Policy Goals

The City of Asheville commits to participating in the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council efforts and supports the following shared goals:

  1. Improve the quality of life for those in need by increasing access to food for people who experience food insecurity.
  2. Continue growing a robust regional food economy by increasing production and consumption of regional food and food products.
  3. Strive to meet all nutritional needs of the community with regionally produced foods.
  4. Work to prepare for short-term food emergencies and long-term food security.
  5. Collaborate with regional partners to achieve all food policy goals.

City of Asheville Food Policy Action Plan

  1. Utilize the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) as a tool to support food policy goals by amending the UDO as needed to remove barriers to local food production and distribution. For example, but not limited to, priorities such as community gardens, urban agriculture, and use of mobile markets in residentially zoned districts under certain circumstances such as farmers markets.
  2. Optimize permitting and regulatory services for farmers markets.
  3. Prioritize partnering to find a long term permanent location for the Asheville City Market.
  4. Pursue establishing local food purchasing policies for the City of Asheville through clarity on existing state legislation as well as state enabling legislation where needed.
  5. Seek partnerships to incorporate regional food and beverage options into the U.S. Cellular Center concessions, as well as city-run events.
  6. Create a public private partnership for implementing a citywide curbside composting program that complements trash and recycling services. A successful partnership would improve regional economic development and provide compost regionally to support healthy ecological soil systems.
  7. Include use of edible landscaping as a priority for public property such as parks, greenways and/or right of ways. In support of this, foster relationships with strong community partners who wish to access edible landscaping and/or use underutilized public land for food production.
  8. Encourage partnerships for food production that supports organic and permaculture principles by identifying arable underutilized city-owned land for lease or sale. Pursue methods to make information about such land available to the public.
  9. Update the city recommended plant list for developers to include edible plants and remove exotic and invasive species.
  10. Include safe and convenient pedestrian, bicycle, and transit connections between residential neighborhoods and community gardens, food banks, grocery stores and farmers markets as a priority when evaluating transportation projects.
  1. Include achieving food policy goals as a priority when allocating Community Development Block Grants.
  2. Support Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council efforts to set baselines and metrics for achieving food policy goals.  Play an active role in providing access to existing city data when needed.
  3. Encourage food distribution by engaging underserved communities who live in food deserts. Support community efforts by co-designing incentives that establish neighborhood based markets that provide healthy food.
  4. Incorporate food policy goals into education programs for city staff and the general public.

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