Implementing the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan
Building Healthy Communities
October 1, 2019
The Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan aims to improve the entire food system, from production to consumption, in the city of Niagara Falls.
The plan was developed through an extensive planning process funded by NYHealth, with participation from local government, community gardeners, farmers, youth residents, and other local stakeholders. Officially adopted as the food plan for Niagara Falls by the city government in 2018, the Local Food Action Plan provides long-term direction for locally driven activities geared toward more equitable access to health care and healthy food. However, dedicated resources and action are needed to make the plan a reality. In 2019, NYHealth awarded a grant to the Field & Fork Network to help implement the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan.
Under this grant, Field & Fork hosted a full-time program manager to work closely with stakeholders on the Local Food Action Plan’s implementation. Field & Fork worked to ensure that the Niagara Falls City Farmers Market accepts SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks, two essential nutrition incentive programs. In addition, it developed, ratified, and implemented a local food procurement policy for Niagara Falls hotels and restaurants that receive public subsidies. An initiative was developed to increase local produce in corner stores in Niagara Falls, increasing resident opportunities for healthy eating in their local communities. Field & Fork also worked with the local transportation agency to improve bus routes by including more drop-off locations that feature healthy food options and more pick-up/drop-off locations in the Highland Avenue neighborhood, which is currently deemed a food desert.