City Food Policy Programs: Lessons Harvested From an Emerging Field
Since the early 2000s, food policy has established itself as an important consideration for local government. Food systems are fundamentally linked to issues such as health, equity, environmental sustainability, and economic development, and the emergence of food policy programs over recent years reflect their value at the municipal level.
Despite the growing acceptance of food systems as a city concern, few resources are available to local governments interested in developing a food policy program: best practices for organizing, funding, and supporting food systems work have been neither established nor publicized. This report draws on interviews with municipal food policy professionals in an effort to address this gap. The report, funded by the Innovation Fund of the USDN, compiles and analyzes the experiences of 15 individuals from 13 North American cities, identifying common challenges for municipal food programs as well as avenues for addressing them.