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University of Connecticut College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Community Food Security

 

Community Food Security Strategies – Next Steps

If you are reading this report, then you are probably wondering if there are any strategies or best practices to strengthen your own community's food security. Although there are numerous innovative models and approaches, each community must first embark on its own process of evaluation, dialogue, and planning to arrive at a community-based strategy to improve access and availability of food.

Community-focused strategies should be highly engaging and participatory, including municipal officials, non-profits, private businesses, and residents. An important tool to consider is a Community Food Assessment, which serves as a mechanism to foster a community planning process and respond to community food security needs (see resources on next page).

In reality, communities have little control over where or how food is produced, sold, priced, prepared or consumed. While many municipalities may be concerned about food waste, food is rarely high on the agenda of most town planners, economic development commissions, civic or environmental groups. Anti-hunger organizations play an important role in meeting the short-term needs of food insecure residents, but readily acknowledge their work does not alter underlying socioeconomic challenges. On the other hand, the public's growing interest in safe and healthy food is fertile ground for creative and dynamic leaders as well as considerable local energy focused on the goals of community food security. In recent years there have been many groups in CT that are concerned with food and/or agriculture related issues (food policy councils, town agriculture commissions, farmers market associations, school wellness committees, and community kitchen advocates) who aim to promote healthy, fresh, local food and support viable agriculture. These types of organizations can help form a backbone to community food security strategies.

Community food security strategies tend to focus less on emergency food access and more on availability of affordable and healthy food that will meet long-term needs. Some examples of community food security strategies are:

  • Creating incentives for a new neighborhood retail food store
  • Encouraging the use of abandoned structures and brownfields for the construction of food hubs, food processing centers, or urban agriculture enterprises
  • Adding bus transportation to public food assistance agency offices
  • Creating better meal options in school cafeterias to address child obesity
  • Offering community garden plots and gardening assistance so residents can grow their own food
  • Launching a new farmers market to bring local farm products closer to residents
  • Creating a composting program to reduce food waste and provide affordable soil amendments for gardening purposes

 

 

About This Site

Community Food Security,
Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy

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Contact

Community Food Security
Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy
1376 Storrs Rd, Unit 4021
Storrs, Ct 06269-4021

ZwickCenter@uconn.edu

Phone: (860) 486-2836
Fax: (860) 486-1932