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Community development and design

Promoting local food

You can increase food system engagement by promoting local foods in your community. Through your work in building a regional food system, you’ll increase awareness of the impact of local foods on the social, economic, environmental, and public health of communities.

Organizing your community: coalition-building

As agriculture evolves to meet the desire for more local food products, community leaders are playing key roles in facilitating the development of local food systems. Coalition building can help ensure local food efforts are sustained and supported by diverse communities. Social change requires broad, intersectional efforts that transcend missions of individual players or organizations.

Check out this page of resources on “Moving From ‘Me’ to ‘We’.”

Building your food system: infrastructure and planning

The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices (USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, 2016, 128 pp.) is made up of seven modules that can be grouped into two stages of food system planning, assessment and evaluation. The first set of modules (1-4) guides the preliminary stages of an impact assessment. It includes framing the system, relevant economic activities and assessment process as well as collecting and analyzing relevant primary and secondary data. For those seeking a more robust economic impact assessment, the second set of modules (5-7) provides a more technical set of practices and discussion of how to use the information collected in stage one to conduct a more rigorous analysis. Free PDF download.

Local Foods, Local Places Toolkit: A Guide to Helping Communities Revitalize Using Local Food Systems. This toolkit helps communities create action plans that chart a course for using local foods to help meet a broad range of community goals. The program and its predecessor, Livable Communities in Appalachia, have worked with more than 80 communities since 2014. The Local Foods, Local Places Toolkit is meant to help communities interested in undertaking a similar process to develop their own plans for setting and achieving local food and revitalization goals with best practices and lessons learned from the program.

Building your organization: legal and financial considerations

Find the complete guide to building your local foods organization, including legal and financial considerations to help get you started.

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