AUSTIN (KXAN) - After nearly four decades of promoting and growing a sustainable food system in Austin, the Sustainable Food Center is finally planting roots of its own -- into a new facility.
On Tuesday, the Sustainable Food Center welcomed the community to tour the new eastside facility with events ranging from gardening demonstrations to free tacos provided by La Condesa.
The new building at 2921 East 17th Street is 7,000 square feet, has a commercial kitchen, office space and plenty of outdoor space for growing herbs and composting.
There is also a 2.3 acre community garden adjacent to the building.
The building has been something the non-profit has been working on for years.
"Our name is Sustainable Food Center and it's not very sustainable to continue to put rent toward a building that doesn't reflect who we are and what we do and it doesn't serve our programs well," explained Ronda Rutledge, the Executive Director of SFC. "Being in central East Austin on public transportation and being able to construct a training facility on land that was donated to us has really been a dream come true."
The new permanent home will allow SFC to expand its program and provide even more services to the community.
"We want to be able to continue to provide free services to our most vulnerable families here in Austin," said Rutledge.
The organization operates on funds from foundations, government contracts, individual and corporate gifts as well as a earned revenue.
SFC currently operates four farmers' markets around Austin, but Rutledge explains it's not just about the food.
"Farmers markets are an important way to make connections between our local growers and people who really need to consume that fresh local produce," said Rutledge.
For customers who are on SNAP or WIC, the SFC farmers' markets have an incentive program where they double the dollar amount that customers spend on fruits and vegetables at the market.
"Instead of $10 in produce when you use your SNAP card, you can get $20 and be able to get lots of good fresh produce to feed your family," explained Rutledge.
While the SFC doesn't actually run community gardens, they do educate and provide leadership training to people who are eager to start a garden in their neighborhood.
"Our goal is to have a food secure community where every child and adult knows how to grow, share and prepare healthy local produce"
For a list of upcoming events at the center and where the farmers' markets are located, click here.
Sub-freezing temperatures and an approaching upper level disturbance could combine to produce some patchy freezing drizzle or sleet Saturday and early Sunday morning.
Investigators are still trying to figure out who murdered an Austin teacher in Benghazi on Thursday.
Back in June, Governor Rick Perry signed a new law officially letting teachers and students use greetings such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah" in school, all without getting in any trouble.
The Round Rock-based computer giant, Dell Inc., is offering some workers voluntary buyouts as it seeks to trim costs and boost productivity.
The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
Sub-freezing temperatures will continue across much of Central Texas all day Saturday. A second disturbance associated with the winter storm that slammed Texas Thursday and Friday could lead to more freezing precipitation Saturday and …