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Growing Food Connections

Growing Food Connections
The overarching goal of this partnership is to enhance community food security while ensuring sustainable and economically viable agriculture and food production. This requires building the capacity of local governments to remove public policy barriers and deploy innovative public policy tools.

Policy Database
The Growing Food Connections Policy Database is a searchable collection of local public policies that explicitly support community food systems. This database provides policymakers, government staff, and others interested in food policy with concrete examples of local public policies that have been adopted to address a range of food systems issues: rural and urban food production, farmland protection, transfer of development rights, food aggregation and distribution infrastructure, local food purchasing and procurement, healthy food access, food policy councils, food policy coordination, food system metrics, tax reductions and exemptions for food infrastructure, and much more.

Food System Reader
The Growing Food Connections Food Systems Reader is a short collection of published resources that explore local and regional level public policy challenges and opportunities related to the following issues:

  • Community food production: efforts to grow, raise and harvest crops, raise animals, fish, hunt or forage food for human consumption in urban, suburban and rural areas.
  • Community food security: the state in which all members of a community have sufficient and adequate access to healthy, affordable and culturally acceptable food, particularly under-served residents in urban, suburban and rural areas.
  • Community food connections: the challenges and opportunities of simultaneously improving community food production viability and food security for under-served residents.

Stories of Innovation
Beginning in 2012, Growing Food Connections conducted a national scan and identified 299 local governments across the United States that are developing and implementing a range of innovative plans, public programs, regulations, laws, financial investments and other policies to strengthen the food system. GFC conducted exploratory telephone interviews with 20 of these urban and rural local governments. The stories below highlight the innovative food systems planning and policy work from some of these communities.

The Food Systems Planning Process: Understanding the Ups and Downs of the Journey
The webinar emphasizes stakeholder engagement and covers the impetus behind food systems plans, visioning and goal setting, assessments and the process of developing a plan to foster the visions and goals with diverse community stakeholders. Presenters share insights on how to ensure and fund implementation, and the timeline for completion.