Enhancing Food Security Through Community & Regional Food Systems

Speakers from two projects funded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)/National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Food Security grant program will discuss current research, outreach, and education efforts in community and regional food systems.

“Enhancing Food Security of Underserved Populations in the Northeast through Sustainable Regional Food Systems”
Presenter: Kate Clancy, Project Deputy Director; Food Systems Consultant

The goal of this project is to assess whether greater reliance on regionally-produced foods could improve food access and community food security, while also benefiting farmers, food supply chain firms, and the overall food security of the 12 state region. The project partnership includes multiple participating institutions, with project staff working in 9 locations throughout the Northeast with low income communities. Dr. Clancy will describe the work of seven multidisciplinary teams (consumption, distribution, production, models, outreach, education, and evaluation) and will highlight lessons learned in the first two years of the project.

“The Struggle for Food Dignity”
Presenters: Hank Herrerra, Action Research Coordinator, Food Dignity & Cole Ehmke, Extension Specialist, Agriculture & Applied Economics, University of Wyoming

Presenters will describe and discuss the Food Dignity project, which addresses three research questions: What solutions do communities use to improve the sustainability and equity of their local food systems and economies? What resources best help people implement their solutions? What do we get if we support people in implementing their solutions? The Food Dignity project provides a support package of resources to five communities over five years to support their efforts to build their own food system to reduce food insecurity. The project uses qualitative case study methods to assess the progress of each community in achieving its goals, along with quantitative agro-ecological methods to measure change in production. Food Dignity academic partners, Cornell University and the University of Wyoming, are developing curricula for a new sustainable food system minors. The Food Dignity project uses qualitative case study methods to analyze the relationships between the communities and their academic partners. Speakers will provide preliminary findings from the first two years of the project.

Created by Sharon Lezberg