Food System Plan
A Food System Plan, as defined by the American Planning Association, is “a set of interconnected, forward-thinking activities that strengthen a community and regional food system through the creation and implementation of plans and policies.” The overall goal is to improve the well-being of people and their communities by building more sustainable, just, equitable, self-reliant, and resilient food systems.
Many of our clients undertake a Food System Planning process after they’ve completed a Food System Assessment. While the assessment process helps a community understand their local food system landscape, the planning process provides the policy strategies to address the gaps and challenges identified in the assessment phase. The assessment is the diagnosis, the plan is the prescription.
NVA provides strategic direction and technical assistance to the local governments, food policy councils, and community coalitions developing their Food System Plans.
We work with communities to:
Create a shared vision for the Food System Plan process. We work with clients to identify the values and goals driving their work.
Plan a robust and inclusive community engagement process. We work with clients to design surveys, plan community meetings, facilitate social media engagement, and deploy a variety of tools to be sure that all community voices are heard.
Analyze and synthesize key findings. We help clients interpret the findings from the community engagement process, and turn those into actionable recommendations.
Support formal adoption of the Food System Plan by local elected officials. We assist clients in navigating the formal public process of Food System Plan adoption by their local or state elected bodies.
Food System Plan Projects
Learn how we have helped our clients with Food System Plans below.
City of Wichita Food System Master Plan
The Health and Wellness Coalition of Wichita’s Food Policy Committee is developing, connecting and building a local food environment that creates a sustainable food system to serve the needs of producers, suppliers and consumers. The Coalition is composed of numerous organizations including the Greater Wichita YMCA which serves as fiduciary for the Coalition. By partnering with the City of Wichita to create a 10-year Food System Master Plan, they are guiding the development of community food assets in Wichita, Kansas. A Food System Master Plan process is an opportunity to provide a comprehensive approach to food systems efforts – identifying policy solutions that influence how food is produced, processed, distributed, stored, transported, purchased and consumed. New Venture Advisors provided technical assistance, guided the collaborative planning process, and authored the master plan. (2021) Download plan here.
Douglas County Food System Plan
Douglas County, KS
In 2016, Douglas County embarked on a process to update the Lawrence-Douglas County Comprehensive Plan, set a framework for the next 10 years to guide policy changes by its local governments, to shape the work of the Douglas County Food Policy Council (DCFPC), and to inspire community actions and partnerships. The year-long process engaged stakeholders from across the food system through dozens of focus groups, community meetings, and sector-specific surveys. It also piloted an innovative model of engaging underrepresented voices through participatory action research, where community members led efforts to connect with and engage those traditionally left out of policymaking decisions. The resulting Food System Plan includes specific policy goals, objectives, and action steps to guide the community’s ten-year vision for food system development. This initiative was overseen by Eileen Horn in her role as Sustainability Director for the City of Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas, prior to her engagement with New Venture Advisors. (2016)