A Vision for San Jose (from the 2016 Food Works Report)
San Jose’s spirit of innovation, commitment to resilience, and renowned diversity are expressed in a dynamic food culture of healthy food access for all residents and thriving food businesses, from ethnic grocery stores and neighborhood restaurants, to industrial processing and distribution, to market gardens and farms located in and around the City.
San Jose Food Works brings together diverse partners to strengthen a connected local food system – production, processing, distribution, retail, restaurants and food service – that advances the City’s economy, placemaking, public health, sustainability, and role as a regional center.
The San Jose Food Works project launched with a successful food system stakeholder forum on Friday, May 12 at San Jose City Hall. The event was cosponsored by SPUR and the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority.
Panelists included (from left): Kim Walesh, Director of Economic Development and Deputy City Manager, City of San Jose; Jacky Morales-Ferrand, Director of the San Jose Department of Housing; Dan Bassian, co-owner of Bassian Farms, Inc.; Ken Yeager, Santa Clara County Supervisor; Jessica Carreira, chef at Adega, San Jose’s only Michelin-starred restaurant; Cayce Hill, Executive Director of Veggielution; and moderator Mary Patterson, Director of Strategic Partnerships at The Health Trust.
As documented in the Food Works study, San Jose’s food system sectors—production, processing, distribution, and consumption—make significant economic, environmental, cultural and social contributions to the City’s vitality. Advocacy organizations, business associations, educational institutions, City and County departments, and other agencies have numerous programs and initiatives that comprise elements of a vibrant food system. Now the City, in collaboration with key food businesses and advocacy stakeholders, needs to look at San Jose’s food system holistically, in order to more fully account for its myriad contributions, more effectively address its vulnerabilities, better connect food system elements, and more robustly take advantage of opportunities to elevate the food system as a means for achieving the City’s strategic priorities including realizing the City’s role as a regional center.
- Conduct a detailed Wholesale Food Market Feasibility Analysis.
- Promote development of Food Business Incubators and Commercial Kitchens.
- Support investment in food jobs and growth of existing and new food businesses.
- Promote opportunities to improve quality of life and public health outcomes.
- Advance food as placemaking at city and neighborhood scales.
- Cultivate opportunities for urban and peri-urban food production.
- Connect food systems-related initiatives to each other, and across City, County, and regional agencies and partners.
- Institutionalize food systems planning and implementation in City policies and plans.
- Identify the financial resources and partnership commitments for continued implementation of Food Works and related projects.
Partnerships and Funding
- Funders: Knight Foundation; San Jose Department of Housing; and San Jose Office of Economic Development
- In-kind support: City of San Jose (Department of Housing, Office of Economic Development, Planning Division, and Department of Parks and Recreation); Santa Clara County Health Department; Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority; SPUR San Jose; Team San Jose; the silicon valley organization; Santa Clara County Food Systems Alliance
- Subcontractor: BAE Urban Economics