Alpharetta to Receive $75,000 to Grow Local Food Access

Released January 27, 2022 09:06 AM

Alpharetta Selected to Develop a City Agriculture Plan by Food Well Alliance and the Atlanta Regional Commission


After successfully launching metro Atlanta’s first City Agriculture Plan in the City of East Point, Atlanta nonprofit Food Well Alliance and the Atlanta Regional Commission have selected the City of Alpharetta to step up as the second metro city to develop a City Agriculture Plan. Once Alpharetta’s plan is developed with the Atlanta Regional Commission, Food Well Alliance will guide its implementation and provide $75,000 in funding to help the community bring it to life. Alpharetta was selected due to their high level of community engagement, dedicated and enthusiastic City staff, and current food and agricultural operations that can be strengthened and connected by a formal plan.


Food Well Alliance (FWA) and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) partnered to introduce the City Agriculture Plan program in 2019 with the goal of helping cities in the Atlanta region develop unique roadmaps to create vibrant and sustainable community food systems. Funding to pilot the City Agriculture Plan in 2019 was made possible by the Zeist Foundation and FWA founding benefactor, the James M. Cox Foundation.

“The opportunity to develop a comprehensive plan for agriculture is really forward-thinking and will help ensure that Alpharetta is the community we want to leave for our grandchildren. We look forward to working with the community to develop a comprehensive plan that prioritizes agriculture and helps the program grow across the city,” said Jim Gilvin, City of Alpharetta Mayor.

Once a small, largely agrarian community, the City of Alpharetta has grown exponentially over the last four decades, rising from a population of 3,000 in 1980 to over 65,000 today.

“This Plan will help our growing city tap into and build on its agricultural roots. We are all dependent on agriculture, and the closer we can be to our food and those who grow it, the healthier we will be.” said City of Alpharetta Community Services Manager, Amanda Musilli.

The City Agriculture Plan process intentionally incorporates an equitable and inclusive community engagement phase that reaches as many residents as possible, as well as ensures a balanced and diverse Steering Committee to guide the planning phase. It also identifies ways that locally-grown food can be integrated into the City’s existing plans and programs.

“We are excited to expand City Agriculture Planning to a second city as Food Well Alliance works towards a regional coalition of cities and counties prioritizing urban agriculture and local food,” said Food Well Alliance Policy and Advocacy Manager Sarah Brown. “The City of Alpharetta is creating local agriculture programs that can be exciting models for the region - from using city-owned land for a productive and educational farm space to engaging students in agribusiness ventures. We can’t wait to build on that momentum through this planning process with ARC.”

Supporting and growing Alpharetta’s community food system will involve strengthening the relationships between local food producers, distributors, and consumers. The Plan will convene those community stakeholders and local leadership, under ARC’s guidance and planning expertise. These relationships can help build connections, support local ecosystems and soil health, increase access to healthy food, and create entrepreneurial opportunities to bolster the local economy.

"Continuing to work with Food Well Alliance and undertaking a City Agriculture Plan in partnership with Alpharetta will build on the successes of the East Point pilot and further ARC’s goal of increasing access to local food and agriculture throughout our region,” said Bonnie Lapwood, Senior Planner, Community Development Group, ARC.


The Community Engagement phase of the Plan will begin in early spring 2022. Dates and locations will be shared by the City of Alpharetta and Food Well Alliance on their websites and social media pages.

“The City of Alpharetta has an excellent track record of implementing comprehensive plans, and we look forward to working with the community and stakeholders to draft and implement a community-based agriculture plan,” said City of Alpharetta Director of Community & Economic Development, Kathi Cook.

Food Well Alliance is a collaborative network of local leaders working to build thriving community gardens and urban farms across metro Atlanta. The mission of Food Well Alliance is to provide resources and support to local growers to connect and build healthier communities. Our vision is for an equitable, local food ecosystem in which everyone can participate and benefit. Today, we support more than 120 community gardens and 35 urban farms in Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, and Clayton counties., @foodwellalliance

The City of Alpharetta remained a small, largely agrarian community through the early 1980’s, but shortly thereafter the city blossomed into one of the most prosperous communities in the United States. The community that had a population of only 3,000 in 1980 today is home to more than 65,000 residents and sees its population swell to more than 120,000 each workday. Grounded in our small-town heritage but with our eyes set firmly to the future, we are awesome Alpharetta, Georgia. Follow the city of Alpharetta at, @CityofAlpharetta, @AlpharettaParks, and @farmatoldruckerpark.

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 73 other cities.  The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues., @planatlanta