Implementing and Sustaining Regional Healthy Food Systems Planning
Healthy Food, Healthy Lives
December 13, 2023
Food systems planning is a collaborative process among farmers, retailers, consumers, nonprofits, health systems, and government to develop priorities and implement practices that shape how regional food systems operate.
It can result in improvements like changes in food procurement at public institutions, revisions to urban gardening codes, and better access to local food, which in turn have a positive impact on food security and health. NYHealth is supporting eight food planning groups in New York State that are developing tailored regional food systems plans. The funding enables these alliances to put plans into action by hiring dedicated staff, speeding up coalition building, seeking community and resident input, and communicating to stakeholders about the positive impact of food planning on local food systems. In 2023, NYHealth awarded The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future a grant to provide capacity building and technical assistance to the eight food planning groups.
Under this grant, Johns Hopkins will accelerate the development of local food system plans, support the regional planning groups to secure funding for sustainability, and position the cohort as a collective voice to influence statewide policy change. It will provide individual and group technical assistance to the eight regional food planning groups to ensure planning and strategies are action-oriented. Johns Hopkins will match each food planning group to a peer food policy council and facilitate discussions, site visits, and sharing of best practices. It will also support the cohort in developing a shared policy agenda to advocate for State and federal policy changes and make recommendations for a statewide food plan.