Local Food Systems

Democracy Collaborative Offers Paid Internship

Work with us on newsletters and community-wealth.org

We are pleased to announce a new intern position at The Democracy Collaborative that will focus on the Community-Wealth.org newsletter and adding web content. For further details, please see the position description below. Remember to submit your applications by August 30!

Growing Awareness Urban Farm

Located in the heart of Albuquerque, Growing Awareness Urban Farm is a micro-enterprise of East Central Ministries. Currently the farm includes a nursery that specializes in locally grown vegetables, a workshop that produces clay pots used in irrigation, an apiary, a chicken coop, demonstration and community gardens, a playground with edible landscaping, a composting operation and a small urban farm store.  All profits from sales go directly back into the community through East Central Ministries’ programs to provide work to needy families, mentoring and teaching for young people, their community health clinic, and their neighborhood food and housing programs. 

Project Feed the Hood

Project Feed the Hood is an initiative of the Southwest Organizing Project that aims to improve community health through education to increase food literacy and community gardening initiatives to revive traditional growing methods in low-income communities in Albuquerque. In addition to building and overseeing community gardens throughout the city’s poorer neighborhoods, Project Feed the Hood also works with local schools to provide healthier foods and workshops on growing and nutrition. 

Albuquerque Urban Farm and Gardens Cooperative

The mission of the Albuquerque Urban Farms and Gardens Cooperative is to help build gardens and urban farms of any scale throughout the City of Albuquerque. The cooperative is a collection of gardening and urban farm communities that have come together to support each other and to educate the community on self-sustaining gardening. They do so through network parties, seed sharing and farmers markets.

Economic and Community Development Outcomes of Healthy Food Retail

Erin Hagan and Victor Rubin

A new report from PolicyLink examines the economic development benefits of improving healthy food access. Authors Erin Hagan and Victor Rubin argue that new grocery stores, corner stores, farmer’s markets, and other food retailers generate significant economic activity in all communities, and specifically in low-income communities. The report encourages researchers to consider the economic benefits (not just the health benefits) of innovations in food retail, distribution and production, such as financing incentives, urban agriculture, food hubs, and federal assistance programs. The report concludes by offering a series of recommendations to help understand and promote the economic benefits of improved access to healthy food. 

Done Right, Eliminating Food Deserts Result in Community Oases

Building community wealth every step of the way
Pogue’s Run Grocer Mural, an initiative of the Indy Food Co-op. © Indy Food Co-op
Building healthy, vibrant and sustainable communities requires more than “bottom up” solutions. The importance of community ownership to ensure that projects that start at the bottom result in lasting community wealth for the people involved is often missing from the discussion. The local foods movement provides examples that illustrate the importance of this ownership principle in practice.

Ellen Macht on the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative

CEO chats about developing the first cooperative business, Atlanta Lettuce Works

Last week, The Democracy Collaborative's Stephanie Geller had the opportunity to chat with Ellen Macht, President and CEO of the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, about an exciting new project launched by The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to bring quality jobs, assets, and sustainable economic growth to Atlanta’s most marginalized neighborhoods. 

Farm To People

Farm To People is an online farm stand for buying food directly from small, sustainable farmers and craft producers around the United States with the goal of strengthening the link between food, health, environment, and people. This website provides a diversity of avenues for small farmers to reach consumers and offers a directory based on specialty so that eaters can simplify their search for environmentally and socially sustainable food.  

Read more about Farm To People...

Jacksonville Farmers Market

Jacksonville Farmers Market is Florida’s oldest farmers market, founded in 1938. It features over 200 farmers and vendors at a market that is open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. The market makes available the freshest produce from North Florida or South Georgia, but also features unique produce from across the country and imported from overseas.

Friends of Northeast Florida Community Gardens

Friends of Northeast Florida Community Gardens (FNFCG) was founded in March 2011 in response to a need for an organized association of the many community gardens in the Northeast area. Through this organization, the 84 associated community gardens are able to collectively share resources, apply for funding opportunities, and increase their leverage with the local government in influencing the region’s food system.

The Argyle Area Community Garden

The Argyle Area Community Garden was founded in May 2009 as a member-operated organic vegetable garden to support a healthier and better-educated community. Though the garden is not yet complete, it plans to educate the local youth through field trips and hands-on experience, as well as volunteer programs for high school students.

Growing Urban Agriculture: Equitable Strategies and Policies for Improving Access to Healthy Foods and Revitalizing Communities

Allison Hagey, Solana Rice and Rebecca Flournoy

PolicyLink examines how cities across the United States are adopting urban agriculture as a means to address equity issues in our food system and communities. This report details the benefits of urban agriculture, looks at innovative strategies to overcome common challenges, and offers policy recommendations to ensure equity in the growing movement. It lays out how urban agriculture can improve access to healthier food through innovative distribution, processing, and marketing efforts; improve economic health by creating jobs, attracting new business, and creating savings for families; and improve community health by using vacant or underused urban spaces to create safe, clean outdoor spaces for people to gather.