Atlanta’s local food movement is broad and diverse, and Food Well Alliance is committed to gathering comprehensive research to strengthen its' local food system.

There are numerous contributors to Metro Atlanta's local food movement including growers, educators, funders, advocates, distributors, entrepreneurs and environmentalists, who work to strengthen the local food system.

Help us connect people and resources to develop an interactive clearinghouse of data and information for Metro Atlanta’s local food system by sharing your research, projects and ideas of what you would like to see at data@foodwellalliance.org.

We invite you to explore Atlanta's local food system.

Production

Production involves growing edible plants and trees, raising animals and bees for personal use, educational demonstration, donation and marketing.

In January 2015, the Atlanta Regional Commission aggregated data of garden, orchard and farm sites in the 10-county Metro Atlanta area. Information included in the interactive map was provided by organizations in the regional food community such as Atlanta Local Food Initiative, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Captain Planet Foundation, Food Well Alliance, Georgia Organics, Metro Atlanta Urban Farm and the University of Georgia. The map provides a snapshot of small- to medium-scale growing in our cities, counties and neighborhoods.


Processing

Processing involves turning raw food materials into usable end products for consumption through processing, manipulating and packaging.

Georgia Organics maintains an interactive map of resources, including community kitchens and food processing centers. You can access this map as a subcategory of the “Community Gardens & Kitchens” search.

There is also a list of shared facilities, available for rent for value-added processing, a great resource for entrepreneurs.


Distribution

Distribution is the process by which food is transported, aggregated, stored and marketed on its journey from farm to consumer.

The University of Georgia orchestrated a baseline study in 2012 that identified three food hubs in Metro Atlanta. A food hub is a physical location and organization that manages the aggregation, distribution and marketing of local and regional food products. They aggregate food products from small and mid-sized producers, then transport it to wholesalers, retailers (i.e. grocery stores) and/or institutional buyers. Read more about the food hub concept and the state report here.


Consumption

Consumption, arguably the most enjoyable aspect of the food system, includes not only purchasing, but also cooking, preparing and eating food.  Educational gardens, cooking demonstrations and local farm-to-school programs are strategies to increase healthy food consumption.

The Wylde Center's Decatur Farm to School program is an example of communal efforts to increase consumption. In partnership with City of Decatur Schools, Wylde Center works to increase fresh food consumption by connecting students to gardening skills and outdoor education. The program uses the surrounding communities, classrooms, cafeterias and school gardens as study labs for students to learn.


Waste Recovery

Food waste recovery is the separation of biodegradable, organic matter (kitchen scraps) from other trash (packaging) to be used for nutrient-dense soil, which is helpful for growing more veggies.

Kennesaw State University’s award-winning farm-to-campus-to-farm dining program incorporates industry‐leading sustainable practices into the university’s dining operation. It is an outstanding example of food waste recovery.  
 
Three organic farms near the campus furnish vegetables and fruits to the university’s dining hall, The Commons, which feeds 30,000 people a day. Menus are planned around what’s in season, and food is cooked onsite in small batches for optimum flavor and to reduce waste. All waste is recycled and composted for use on the farms.