November 2014

Planning Santa Fe’s Food Future


Seth Roffman


The Santa Fe Food Policy Council (SFFPC), comprising 13 people including city and county staff, was established by a joint resolution from the city and county of Santa Fe. The council’s Food Plan is intended to facilitate the creation and maintenance of a regional food system to ensure the availability of food supplies for area residents in coming decades. Accomplishing that goal will require increasing the Santa Fe’s area’s capacity for self-reliance.


The culmination of several years of extensive community-level research, the recently revised Planning for Santa Fe’s Food Future examines various issues through the lens of food, including health, distribution, economy, education, agriculture and land and water conservation. It also bridges local, state and national issues pertaining to food. Intended as a tool for discussion and ongoing modification as goals are prioritized, the plan recommends a variety of policy actions to promote food security.


In October 2014, the SFFPC asked the Santa Fe City Council and the Board of County Commissioners to adopt the Food Plan as the guiding document for city and county officials, food and farm organizations, and a variety of community groups that support resilient communities, robust economies and healthy living. The SFFPC sees this proposed collaborative effort as the foundation from which a just, sustainable and regenerative community food system can be built. The group expects that full implementation of the plan’s recommendations will occur over three years.


The Food Plan is divided into three sections: “Getting Food,” “Growing Food” and “Learning About Food.” Each section provides a list of recommendations and identifies agencies and/or organizations that should take responsibility for the goals’ implementation. “Getting Food” encourages the community to use all available means to make healthful and affordable food accessible. “Growing Food” highlights the critical role that farmers and the region’s natural resources play in ensuring the food supply. It strongly urges city and county governments to use all available authorities to promote new and existing gardening, farming and ranching opportunities, including looking at the possibilities for urban agriculture in the city. “Learning About Food” underscores the connection between the food supply and healthy living. It calls for the widespread adoption of wellness policies, institutional practices and educational programs that increase the understanding and application of cooking skills, food production and the safe handling and processing of food.


The SFFPC meets the fourth Thursday of every month, 911 a.m., except for November and December, when it meets the third Thursday. Meetings are at the Food Depot, 1222 Siler Rd. and are open to the public. For more information, contact Peggy O’Mara at 505.983.6771, or visit


Santa Fe Food Stats

  • 14.9 percent, at least 21,270 Santa Fe County residents, don’t know where their next meal is coming from. This number is equal to twice the population of Española.
  • 10 percent of low-income families live a mile or more from the nearest grocery store.
  • 30,000 Santa Fe County residents experience the effects of obesity. That’s 20 percent of the population or one in five.
  • One-third of the restaurants in Santa Fe are fast-food restaurants. One in three.
  • The Food Depot provided 4,827,818 lbs. of food to partner agencies in 2013.
  • Kitchen Angels has prepared and delivered over 725,000 meals since 1992.
  • Food for Santa Fe weekly distributes 900 bags of groceries.


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