In late 2015, The Food Trust initiated Food Access Raises Everyone (FARE), a year-long planning process engaging hundreds of local food access champions, including residents, grassroots leaders, community development corporations, businesses, governmental agencies, philanthropy, faith-based organizations, healthcare, and educational institutions. The success of this planning and assessment process led to The FARE Project, which is working to build capacity, forge new partnerships, support strategic planning efforts, leverage resources, share successful models, provide technical assistance, and engage residents in collaborative activities to improve access to healthy food and address other social determinants of health. Program areas include: Healthy Retail, Farm to School and Institution, Nutrition Education, Farmers Markets, Healthcare Partnerships, Healthy Food Financing, Youth Leadership, and Urban Agriculture.

Convenings: FARE’s convenings tell a great story of the evolution of the project. FARE began by focusing on maximizing and connecting the work within individual program areas. These initial convenings were attended primarily by grasstops stakeholders and institutional partners. Next, FARE moved to integrate the voices of all stakeholders engaged in food access, creating a movement and leading to community-based, community-led convenings that are centered in food access work and include the integration of efforts and partners connected to multiple determinants of health.

Advisory Board: The FARE advisory board began as a small, committed group of grasstops representatives from institutions and organization focused on food access from throughout the county who primarily sharing contacts and information on the landscape. FARE advisors have evolved into a strong network of diverse partners that includes community residents, grassroots organizations, businesses, and institutions, whose work and interests are focused on food access and other determinants of health. FARE advisors are now leaders in FARE’s decision-making process, providing critical guidance on FARE’s strategy, new partnerships and programs, and making sure FARE’s efforts are grounded in a community participatory framework and focused on health equity.