We are a coalition of community members working together to build a local food system that fosters a thriving agricultural economy and ensures equitable access to healthy and affordable foods for all residents in Rutherford County, North Carolina.
Our mission is to build a just and resilient local food system by:
- Educating the community about food systems and food inequities
- Building collaborative relationships and engaging in community-led solutions
- Identifying inequities and other barriers to food security
- Preserving an agrarian community and increasing the viability of food production
A thriving agricultural economy, nourished residents, and food security for all.
These values represent a living document that may evolve as we develop and learn how best to embody our mission. We strive toward these values so that this work may be inspirational for all who participate and impactful for the community at large.
Collaboration: We must build opportunities for engagement with food and agriculture work by operating honestly and openly, with a commitment to inclusive practice, respect, grace, and dignity for all.
Accountability: We must build community trust and effectiveness by demonstrating that we are learning from mistakes, listening to those most affected by inequities in the food system, improving our methods, and focusing on real change.
Courageous Equity: We must strengthen food and farming systems by identifying and creatively disrupting historic barriers and unjust systems that damage the wellbeing of our county and people.
The Steering Committee
What is a food system?
“A food system is how we get our food. The food system includes all processes involved in feeding people: growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming and disposing of food and food packages. The food system operates within and is influenced by the social, political, economic and natural environments. Each step is also dependent on human resources that provide labor, research and education. The food system is connected to many other areas of life, such as nutrition, food, health, community economic development, and agriculture.” [Via Cornell Discovering our Food System Curriculum]
What is a local food system?
Local food systems are place-specific and seek to embed the production, distribution, and consumption of foods in community relationships. Learn more about local food systems on the NC Cooperative Extension Local Foods Website.
What is a food council?
“Food councils are community-based coalitions, created to help build a more just and sustainable food system. Each council supports a specific community – usually a county or region, and sometimes a town, city or neighborhood. A local or regional council is made up of individuals and organizations from that community who represent multiple sectors and work together to build relationships, leverage resources, and learn from one another. The goal of a food council is to influence the redesign of their food system.” [Via Community Food Strategies]