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Our Mission

Community Food Strategies works to inspire connections and amplify collective action so that community voices are heard and food policy shifts toward more equitable outcomes.

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 coalitions through trainings, tools, and structured network building.

Local food coalitions 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.


Our Values

We believe food is a connector and vehicle to drive community change.

We believe community-led work honors history, place, community voice, and all perspectives

We believe equity includes addressing structural racism, diversity and inclusion to create shared prosperity.

We believe communities can create the greatest impact through system change which is done through strategic connections and community empowerment.

We are responsive to community needs, emerging ideas, and exploratory solutions.

We believe collaboration requires trust and accountability.

We believe trusted relationships are critical for systems change and lasting sustainability.

We are responsive to community needs, emerging ideas, and exploratory solutions.

We are responsive to community needs, emerging ideas, and exploratory solutions.

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. 

What We Do 

Build Networks

Share Resources

Provide Training

Offer Support 

Tell Stories

Make Connections

Our Team

Kindred Seedlings Farm

LaShauna Austria

Kindred Seedlings Farm 
(336) 512-4370

UNC School of Social Work

Jaylen Cates

UNC School of Social Work
(919) 695-3391


Brett Rapkin-Citrenbaum

(610) 312-1205
Island CultureZ

Marcus Hill

Island CultureZ

Kana Miller

(404) 273-7700

Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Ali Stone

Center for Environmental Farming Systems
(919) 307-7927

MDC Rural Forward

Hetal Patel

MDC Rural Forward
(336) 244-5424

Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Abbey Piner

Center for Environmental Farming Systems 
(919) 515-5362


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