Community Food Systems

What is a Community Food System?

Community Food Security Programs: What do They Look Like?
At a basic level, community food security (CFS) is about making healthy food accessible to all, including low-income people. But, as this definition suggests, it's about much more than that. This short article from the Community Food Security Coalition explains what community food security programs may include.



Farmers' Market Resources

*Please visit the SWMN "Marketing Options" section on Farmers Markets for comprehensive information about how Farmers Markets increase local food security!



Urban Agriculture

Hartford Food System: Grow Hartford Urban Agriculture Project

Grow Hartford, a project of the Hartford Food System, promotes a sustainable and equitable food system in Hartford by cultivating youth leadership and civic participation through agriculture. Grow Hartford operates three sites in Hartford's inner city that serve as outdoor classrooms for hundreds of Hartford young people and families.


City Farmer News
For the past 30 years, City Farmer has encouraged urban dwellers to pull up a patch of lawn and plant some vegetables, kitchen herbs and fruit. Their message is the same today as it was in 1978 and will be relevant far into the future. This website is a collection of stories about work at City Farmer in Vancouver, Canada, and about urban farmers from around the world.


Urban Agriculture and Community Food Security in the United States: Farming from the City Center to the Urban Fringe

The goal of this guide is to raise awareness of the ways that urban agriculture can respond to food insecurity. The document advocates for policies that promote small-scale urban and peri-urban farming, and thereby prepare the next generation of urban farming leaders.



Developing a Community Food System

Building Community Food Security: Lessons Learned from Community Food Projects, 1999-2003
Building Community Food Security research is based on analysis of CFP project narrative reports from 1999-2003, CFP focus groups, and relevant literature. It outlines a summary of activities for which these projects engaged and include characteristics of successful community food security projects, factors for success, challenges CFP grantees faced, and, lessons learned.


Growing a Community Food System
A "community food system" is one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution and consumption are integrated to enhance the environmental, economic, and social and nutritional health of a particular place. This publication from the Washington State University discusses way to create a community food system.


Food Environment Atlas (USDA)
The USDA has launched a new tool: the U.S. Food Environment Atlas, which provides maps and statistics on food environment indicators, and gives "a spatial overview of a community's ability to access healthy food and its success in doing so."



Community Food Assessment Resources

Community Food Systems Resources: Community Food Security Coalition
This resource list includes several helpful publications for understanding community food systems as well as developing community food projects.


Community Food Assessment Reports from Throughout the US
This is a directory of groups from throughout the US who have conducted Community Food Assessments. You can find contact information for each group to learn more abour each assessment.


Funding to Conduct a Community Food Assessment
The Community Food Projects Competitive Grant is administered by the CSREES of the USDA. The Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (CFPCGP) has existed since 1996 as a program to fight food insecurity through developing community food projects that help promote the self-sufficiency of low-income communities.


What's Cooking in Your Food System? A Guide to Community Food Assessment
This publication comes from the Community Food Security Coalition. It provides an overview of potential benefits and outcomes of an assessment.



Examples of Community Food Systems

Healthy Food, Healthy Communities: A Decade of Community Food Projects in Action
From the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona to the densely populated neighborhoods of East New York, Community Food Projects (CFP) grantees are reaching back into the past and ahead into the future to develop new ways to produce and distribute healthy food. This report profiles various Community Food projects from around the country and provides an overview of the progress made in the past decade in the emerging field of Community Food Systems.