Assessing Your Local Community Food System

A healthy community food system is a food-centered collaborative network integrating food production, processing, distribution and waste management that enhances the economy, environment, health and social fabric of a particular place. And when a community’s food system is organized, citizens become more connected, partnerships flourish, locally-responsive programs emerge and the community becomes more resilient to social, economic or environmental pressures.

A healthy community food system means:

  • better supported farmers and farm workers

  • thriving local food businesses

  • greater access to quality, healthy food

  • availability of family wage jobs

  • ultimately less people requiring emergency food assistance

Register for this workshop track and learn not just 'why' but 'how' to conduct a community food assessment in your community!

Contact: Ariel Agenbroad, University of Idaho,

2018 Local Food Systems “Next Steps” and updates and Workshop Materials

1) Develop food system leadership capacity to activate community food coalition

2) Build regional network connections and relationships to organize food system assessments

  • Balancing Profitability and Access in Local Food Systems in Boise on October 18, 2018

  • Moscow Food Summit 201-Resilience and Regeneration- January 25, 2019

  • Statewide food system leaders continue to meet informally by phone

  • Payette County Extension received an Extension Educator position to conduct a regional food system assessment continuing the work of Cultivate Idaho Initiative in partnership with the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force.

3) Inspire continued momentum with food system speaker series

  • University of Idaho Extension coordinated the ‘Cultivating Success-small farms education’ webinar series February through June 2019. This free webinar series focused on small farm topics.

Tracy Gagnon, Oregon Food Bank

Tracy Gagnon is the Community Food Systems Developer for the Oregon Food Bank where she works with communities to come up with self-identified solutions to build food security. Before the Oregon Food Bank she worked in school gardens, Farm & Fish to School programs, and 4H. She is passionate about community organizing and social justice.

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Jules Reynolds, Oregon Food Bank

Jules Reynolds worked with the Oregon Food Bank from 2014-2016 as a Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) AmeriCorps Community Food Organizer. She conducted Community Food Assessments for two rural regions in Oregon, and through this work helped to mobilize farmers, organize local farmers markets, and facilitate a Farm to School program. After her work with the Oregon Food Bank, Jules moved to Madison, WI to earn her Master's Degree in Agroecology at the University of Wisconsin. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Geography and hopes to continue working with local food systems and issues of food security.