Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 27.5

GreenStep City Best Practices: Resilient Economic and Community Development
Local Food No. 27

Strengthen local food production and access.

Best Practice Action 5

Assess, plan for, and enhance the community’s local food system.

  • Contact your local SHIP Coordinator for funding and technical assistance.
  • Assessments:
  • Plans:
    • Food System Resilience: A Planning Guide for Local Governments (2022) is a guide from Johns Hopkins University developed with the support of many partners, including UMN Extension and Cass Clay Food Partners. This planning guide is composed of six modules that provide background information on important concepts, as well as a set of tools for developing food system resilience strategies. The strategies can be used to create a stand-alone food system resilience plan or components to embed into other local government plans, policies, or programs.
    • GROWING LOCAL: A Community Guide to Planning for Agriculture and Food Systems is one of the best guides for creating a food system plan. Based on the work of 11 cities across the U.S., including Minneapolis, this guide explains important principles and practices as well as example policies and other tools cities can use. 
    • See examples of food system plans from other cities like Wichita, KS, Pelican Rapids, MN, and Minneapolis, MN (in development).
    • The Public Health Law Center has a number of resources for food system planning including case studies, example policies, and original research. 
  • Councils:
    • The Food Policy Networks project at John Hopkins University has a number of resources for city food policy councils. Their website has a map and directory of food policy councils in the U.S., original research, guides, and a listserv to stay connected. 
  • Staffing: 
1 star Host community asset mapping or visioning sessions; collect primary data about your local food system through surveys and/or focus groups; conduct a community food assessment. Report agricultural assets under BPA 27.1.
2 star Create a standalone food system plan for the community; incorporate food system goals and recommendations into community plans (such as Comprehensive, Economic Development, and Sustainability).
3 star Create a Food Policy Council; add local food system development to the responsibilities of an existing city staff member; create a new position or office dedicated to local food system coordination.