Healthy Food, Healthy Lives


NYHealth & SUNY Albany

Funding Area

Healthy Food, Healthy Lives


October 12, 2023


Local food system plans have the potential to reduce food insecurity, improve nutrition, buoy local economies, and bolster community engagement. Food systems planning is a collaborative process among community-based organizations, government officials, health systems, producers, businesses, and citizens to develop and implement policies that shape how local and regional food systems operate.

To date, there has been little understanding of the degree to which municipalities have engaged in local food system planning efforts. To help fill this gap, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany a grant to survey town supervisors and village mayors across nine economic regions, excluding the New York City region.

The research team collected data on a range of issues, including local capacity to support food systems plans and projects; perceptions of food insecurity, access, and quality; and challenges and opportunities associated with local food production. This issue brief summarizes key findings and offers recommendations to increase investment in local food systems.

Read the brief.