Category Archives: Feature

Growing Food Connections Local Government Policy Database 

The Growing Food Connections Local Government Policy Database is a searchable collection of local public policies that explicitly support community food systems. This database provides policymakers, government staff, and others interested in food policy with concrete examples of local public policies that have been adopted to address a range of food systems issues: rural and urban food production, farmland protection, transfer of development rights, food aggregation and distribution infrastructure, local food purchasing and procurement, healthy food access, food policy councils, food policy coordination, food system metrics, tax reductions and exemptions for food infrastructure, and much more.

Local Government Food Policy Database

Local Government Food Policy Database: 

Growing Food Connections

The Growing Food Connections Local Government Policy Database is a searchable collection of local public policies that explicitly support community food systems. This database provides policymakers, government staff, and others interested in food policy with concrete examples of local public policies that have been adopted to address a range of food systems issues: rural and urban food production, farmland protection, transfer of development rights, food aggregation and distribution infrastructure, local food purchasing and procurement, healthy food access, food policy councils, food policy coordination, food system metrics, tax reductions and exemptions for food infrastructure, and much more.

Local Public Policy

The Growing Food Connections team defines local public policy as: a course of municipal, county or regional government action in response to public problems or issues.

Policy Types

This database includes a range of policies such as local laws, ordinances, resolutions, motions, orders, and directives, as well as plans, standards, guidelines, tax exemptions and other public financing policies. Policies span different geographic regions, sizes of government, rural and urban contexts, and public issues. In addition to general information about policy type, topic and adoption date, the database includes policy documents, or the adopted policy language for each policy. When available, this database also lists information about the adopting, implementing, and supporting public agencies and non-governmental organizations; funding amount and sources; and policy outcomes – initiatives, programs, projects and other actions enabled, established or supported by the policy.

Submit A Policy From Your Community

Help your community be recognized! If your community has adopted a local or regional government policy that impacts the food system, submit it for inclusion in the database. We are only able to include policies that have been officially adopted by a local government (municipality or county) in the United States.

Policies can be submitted by completing this form.

What about food systems plans and policies adopted outside of the United States?

If you are interested in sub-national policies that are being adopted outside of the United States, please visit this Global Database hosted by the University at Buffalo and RUAF Foundation.

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 This database is continually updated. Policies included in this database have not been evaluated. Population categories are based on USDA’s Rural-Urban Continuum Codes.  The database is the intellectual property of the University at Buffalo and partners. 

Local Government Food Policy Database

Critical food policy literacy: Conceptualizing community municipal food policy engagement

Food policies should be informed by those who they intend to serve, but policy-making processes remain exclusive to privileged voices, knowledge, and experiences. This article bridges food and policy scholarship with the critical literacy work of Paulo Freire to answer: how do we understand literacies tied to food policy? What does (or, what could) it mean to be food policy literate? This article proposes five principles for conceptualizing critical food policy literacy that support food system transformations.

The paper suggests that efforts to promote critical food policy literacy must facilitate communities to (a) “read the world,” (b) “read the word,” (c) be critically aware of food policy processes and systems, (d) learn contextually and through authentic practice, and (e) enable people to negotiate and transform the world (their context) collectively. 

Read the full paper here DOI: https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2023.122.008

What do people need to know before they can transform municipal food policies?

New research by UB Food Lab member Carol E Ramos-Gerena in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2023.122.008

INTRODUCTION

Food policies should be informed by those who they intend to serve, but policy-making processes remain exclusive to privileged voices, knowledge, and experiences. This article bridges food and policy scholarship with the critical literacy work of Paulo Freire to answer: how do we understand literacies tied to food policy? What does (or, what could) it mean to be food policy literate? In a new JAFSCD article, Carol E. Ramos-Gerena proposes five principles for conceptualizing critical food policy literacy that support food system transformations. 

KEY FINDINGS

The paper suggests that efforts to promote critical food policy literacy must facilitate communities to (a) “read the world,” (b) “read the word,” (c) be critically aware of food policy processes and systems, (d) learn contextually and through authentic practice, and (e) enable people to negotiate and transform the world (their context) collectively. 

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POLICY, PRACTICE, AND RESEARCH

Possessing knowledge on engaging with food policy processes is not commensurate with actual engagement. Thus, structural barriers to community participation must also be addressed. Food system planners and educators, particularly at the municipal level, should support locally-based citizen food organizations to engage in food policy. This support must go beyond assessing communities’ food policy literacy. Instead, it must intend to bridge the gap to ensure critical readiness for food policy engagement. 

For questions and suggestions, contact us at foodsystems@ap.buffalo.edu.

Zane Longwell

Zane Longwell is a current Master of Urban Planning student at the University at Buffalo investigating how the City of Buffalo can support locally-owned food retail. He is interested in food systems equity, urban agriculture, climate justice, and affordable housing. He was recognized for his advocacy work as the Faculty Liaison with the Graduate Planning Student Association by receiving a Master of Urban Planning Service Award and was also nominated for a Pillars of Leadership Student Organization Officer of the Year award. In 2022, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Studies at Kent State University. Outside of school, Zane enjoys watching reality TV, reading, going to coffee shops, and hiking.

 

Lanika Sanders

Lanika recently received her master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University at Buffalo. Her interests—which lie at the junction of sustainable agriculture and food equity—grew throughout her time at St. Lawrence University, where she interned on small-scale farms and with local food equity nonprofits before graduating with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies and Sociology. She then spent two service years working to address food inequities in the U.S., investigating and employing urban agriculture as a means of building community resilience. This work sparked Lanika’s interest in food policy, reaffirming her interest in designing healthier, more equitable cities, and inspiring her to pursue a specialization in Food Systems and Community Health during her time at UB.

Daniela Leon

Daniela Leon is currently a first-year Master of Urban Planning student at the University at Buffalo, and a graduate of UB’s Environmental Design program. She is interested in the role of economic development as a lever for positive change in urban communities. Her experiences as research assistant at the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab have fostered her passion for equity and social justice among people of color and other marginalized communities in cities. Her research has focused on identifying opportunities for the integration of informal markets to the urban milieu, specifically street vending. While Buffalo has been home for many years now, she hopes to someday return to the New York City area and contribute to the innovative strategies that advance local economies and small businesses.