A Community Food Assessment (CFA) can help define your community food system, identify goals and take stock of assets, and work with key stakeholders to develop strategies and actions that lead to an improved food system.
The Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool from the First Nations Development Institute is a guide to doing community food assessments for tribal nations. It contains case studies as well as worksheets for several activities.
See BPA 24.5 for resources related to community planning initiatives.
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.
The Public Health Law Center has a number of resources for food system planning including case studies, example policies, and original research.
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.
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.
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).
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.