Food Action Plan

Seattle's Food Action Plan lays out strategies to get more healthy food to more Seattle residents, expand opportunities to grow food in the City, strengthen our regional food economy, and reduce food-related waste.

The Food Action Plan is a five-year plan that was adopted by the Mayor and City Council in 2013. The plan contains 40 actions that are recommended to be implemented by 2018.Coordination and monitoring of plan implementation is led by the City's Office of Sustainability and Environment.

The FAP recognizes that Seattle's food system does not stop at the City's borders, and that partnerships with businesses, community organizations, and other governments in the region are essential to creating a resilient, equitable, and prosperous food system.

Graphic Healthy Food for All

The Farm to Table initiative brings healthy, local food to meals at City-supported childcares and preschools. To create healthy environments, Farm to Table provides gardening education to kids, and kitchen staff training on seasonal menu development and scratch cooking.

The Seattle Parks and Recreation Good Food Program provides a range of gardening, cooking, youth development, and food access activities that support healthy food, engagement with equitable and sustainable environmental practices, opportunities for active recreation and cultural place-making.

The Fresh Bucks to Go program is providing fresh, local fruits and vegetables delivered every other week to families participating in Seattle's subsidized preschool programs.

Fresh Bucks makes healthy fruits and vegetables easier to afford by matching SNAP/EBT (food stamps) benefits dollar-for-dollar up to $10 at all participating farmers market locations in Seattle and King County. Seattle leverages federal food dollars into the greater community by supporting free summer meals, senior meals, and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Seattle incorporates access to healthy food into neighborhood planning processes through the Healthy Living Assessment, which uses community data to identify where changes can be made to create strong community organizations, healthy people, and a  supportive physical environment.

Grow Local graphic

The P-Patch community garden program stewards 34 acres of green space around Seattle, including food production and community space. In addition to growing food for over 6,800 P-Patch gardeners, many P-Patch community gardens include public orchards, gathering areas, or places for kids to play. In addition to feeding their families from their harvests, P-Patch gardeners donated over 39,000 pounds of produce to local food banks and hosted 29 school and youth garden plots.

Volunteers care for and harvest fruit from trees in 16 public orchards through the Orchard Steward Program. In 2014, four City departments came together to create Seattle Farms - Seattle's first opportunity for commercial urban farmers to lease farmland from the City of Seattle. Through a competitive application process, three urban farming entrepreneurs were selected to test out different models of urban farming, in the process providing community benefits in the form of job training, access to healthy food, and activation of public space.

Through an innovative Transfer of Development Rights partnership with King County, Seattle has helped preserve over 1,100 acres of King County farmland - protecting 17 farms that directly feed Seattle's farmers markets.

Food Economy Graphic

Seattle enjoys a robust network of farmers markets that provide a venue for people to connect directly with their farmers, and for food entrepreneurs to launch their businesses. Farmers markets enliven streets and increase traffic in neighborhood business districts. In 2016, farmers markets across Seattle sold over $17.8 million in local food.

The P-Patch market gardens program provide extra income for low-income gardeners in the New Holly and High Point neighborhoods, while increasing healthy food access in these communities through weekly farm stands. Seattle's Restaurant Success Initiative makes it easier for new or expanding restaurants and mobile food businesses to navigate through regulations and requirements.

Prevent food waste graphic

Food waste is a major environmental and economic problem. 30-40% of food in the United States goes uneaten, ending up in landfills where it contributes to greenhouse gases. Meanwhile, a vast network of anti-hunger agencies works to provide food for the millions of Americans who don't have enough to eat. Seattle already has strong regulations requiring that food waste go in the compost - not the landfill. In addition, Seattle is working to reduce the amount of food that goes into the waste stream in the first place through residential and commercial food waste prevention.

In 2015, Seattle Public Utilities launched the Love Food, Stop Waste pilot, partnering with businesses, non-profits and agencies to engage 450 residents in exploring ways to reduce the amount of food going to waste in the home. 79% of survey respondents in the pilot reported seeing their food waste decrease as a result of testing out the tips and tools SPU provided. SPU is using the lessons learned from the pilot to develop and launch a broader scale program.

Seattle's Food Waste Prevention and Recovery Assessment outlines current challenges and opportunities and provides recommendations for reducing food waste among businesses such as grocery stores, institutions, catering departments and restaurants