About

Our Mission

Community Food Strategies works to empower local food councils and networks to create community-led collaboration and just policy change at the local, state, and national level.

Our ultimate purpose is to help build an equitable, community driven food system that improves the quality of life for all people.

Who We Are

We are a multi-organizational team of food system experts working to support and develop North Carolina’s food councils through trainings, tools, and structured network building.

Local food policy councils are changing our relationship with what we eat by bringing together different sectors around the issue of food, and connecting individuals to the process of how food goes from the ground to the table. These food systems intersect with every facet of life, and are the foundation of a strong economy and society.

We believe that people are experts in their communities. They understand their needs better than any outside organization ever could. By engaging community voices with policy makers, we work to strengthen local, grass roots efforts that help address the root causes of many societal issues.

The goal of Community Food Strategies is to build and facilitate relationships between the people we serve so they can share resources and strategies with each other to effect lasting change in their communities, from the ground up.

Led by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), this project’s partners include the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), Care Share Health Alliance, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA), Committee on Racial Equity in the Food System (CORE), the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina (FBECNC) and the NC Rural Center.

Guiding Frameworks Learn about the principles that guide our work and reflect our values.

How We Started

Community Food Strategies grew out a two-year long process of assessing North Carolina’s local food economy with the From Farm to Fork project.

In 2010, this Farm to Fork Guide to Building North Carolina’s Sustainable Local Food Economy was released. This strategic action plan centered on diverse issues related to food, and offered eleven game-changing solutions for advances across the state’s food system. 

One of the biggest takeaways from the report was the importance of establishing an avenue for people to come together with policy makers to discuss how food impacted their communities, and offer solutions that were right-sized for their situations. Facilitating the creation of food councils across the state, would give individuals the opportunity to influence the food system specific to their community.

Community Food Strategies was formed in 2012 as a statewide, collaborative initiative to help support the growth of food policy councils across North Carolina. At the time, there were four councils in the state. In 2019, there are 36 local and regional councils in North Carolina; and that number is increasing every year. Hundreds of North Carolinians have found their local food councils to be a tool for change, and a connection to their community as well as their state.  

What We Do 

Build Networks

Share Resources

Provide Training

Offer Support 

Tell Stories

Make Connections

Our Team

Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Abbey Piner

Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Abbey Piner

Center for Environmental Farming Systems | Community Food Strategies, Project Lead

abbey_piner@ncsu.edu 
(919) 515-5362

Committee on Racial Equity

Shorlette Ammons

Committee on Racial Equity

Shorlette Ammons

Committee on Racial Equity, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

sammons2@ncsu.edu

Kindred Seedlings Farm

LaShauna Austria

Kindred Seedlings Farm

LaShauna Austria

Kindred Seedlings Farm

lwaustria@gmail.com 
(336) 512-4370

Care Share Health Alliance

Megan Bolejack

Care Share Health Alliance

Megan Bolejack

Care Share Health Alliance

mbolejack@caresharehealth.org
(919) 861-8360

Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina

Lindsey Carver

Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina

Lindsey Carver

Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina

lcarver@foodbankcenc.org
(919) 863-9534

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Jared Cates

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Jared Cates

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

jared@carolinafarmstewards.org
(919) 695-3391

NC Rural Center

Jamilla Hawkins

NC Rural Center

Jamilla Hawkins

NC Rural Center

jhawkins@ncruralcenter.org
(919) 250-4314
Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Gini Knight

Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Gini Knight

Center for Environmental Farming Systems

gini_knight@ncsu.edu
(919) 515-5362

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

Amy Marion

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

Amy Marion

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

amy@asapconnections.org
(828) 236-1282 x109

Stories of the Network

Story-telling is powerful and a great way to learn.  
Each of your communities and your councils is structured differently, has access to different resources, and is tackling a variety of issues in different ways.