Stepping into a local food coordinator position can often be overwhelming and challenging. Below are a curated set of “tools” and publications developed by the Local Foods program that can help you begin to shape and understand your new role and plan your next steps. These tools were selected and created based on the feedback shared by experienced coordinators. We hope they continue to be beneficial – please contact us if you would like to see additional resources developed/added to the list.
Getting started –
- New Local Food Coordinator Checklist. This checklist will help you, as a coordinator, develop a strategic and intentional path for your first few months in your new position. It comes with resources that will help address each area in the checklist. (Created by the Local Foods program)
- Checklist for Supervisors of a New Local Food Coordinator. This checklist will help supervisors get a clear understanding of what they should consider, and what should be in place before hiring and when onboarding a local food coordinator. (Created by the Local Foods program)
- Learn more about Iowa Local Food Coordinators. (Local Foods program publication)
- Local Foods Coordinators Survey and Learning Circle Reports. (Local Foods program publication)This report highlights common challenges, lessons learned, and ways to get support as local food coordinators in Iowa. Many of the future plans listed in this report can help you identify resources that have been developed to support you.
- Learn more about local food system work in Iowa through presentations and powerpoints posted here; these are also a great resource for when you need to develop your own presentations.
- 10 Things to Know About Local Food Systems
- Exploring Local Food Systems video. This is a great introductory video that can be shared with groups of people who may not be too familiar with the differences between local food systems and the industrial food system.
Local Food System Development Tools – After asset mapping the resources and stakeholders in your region, next steps usually involve bringing coalitions together or helping to strengthen those that already exist.
- How to Support Local Food System Development in Your Community (Local Foods program publication)
- Local Food Organizational Toolkit (3 part Local Foods program publication)
- Determining Factors for Local Food System Success (Local Foods program publication)
Most Common Beginning Project Tools – Many local food coordinators have identified that they support community gardens and farm to school efforts.
- Setting up School Gardens (produced by NE Iowa Food and Fitness)
- Resources for Community Gardens: Community Garden Start Up Guide & 10 Steps for Starting a Community Garden
- Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit booklet provides ideas and information for common local food system projects (Local Foods program publication)
- Working with local foods and youth: Cafeteria Coaching Toolkit (Local Foods program publication) & Activities for Youth Related to Local Foods
Evaluation Tools – It’s never too early to think about how to evaluate the impact and progress you will make in your work. Learn more about how to build evaluation into the planning stages of your coalition and program development.
- Tools to Evaluate Your Coalition
- Question Keeper – an online tool that can help you develop your own evaluation questionnaire
- Find more helpful evaluation tools here