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 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.