Cultivating community resilience

How North Carolina’s food council is facilitating an effective response during COVID-19

  • Angel Elisa Cruz North Carolina Local Food Council https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3872-6109
  • Alice S. Ammerman University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Nancy G. Creamer Center for Environmental Farming Systems and North Carolina State University
  • Barry Nash North Carolina Sea Grant
  • Ethan J. Phillips University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Martha M. Przysucha Carteret County Food and Health Council
  • Amanda S. Hege Appalachian State University and Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina
Keywords: COVID-19, Pandemic, Food Council, Food Policy Council, Food System, Local Food

Abstract

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Carolina Local Food Council has strengthened its role as a cohesive and effective organization during a public-health crisis to share challenges, devise solutions, and build resilience across local food systems in North Carolina. The Council includes repre­­sentatives from 21 organizations working across the state, as well as three representatives from regional local food councils. The Council’s response to the pandemic addressed three key areas of action: (1) Coordinate responses across multiple sectors; (2) Enhance collaboration across the food-supply chain; and (3) Facilitate data collection and public messaging. This paper describes the positive impacts the Council has had across North Carolina on consumers and producers of local food as a result of this collaborative network and long-established relationships across the state. Now, more than ever, the relationships and collaborative efforts of statewide organizations and partners are needed. The Council’s crisis response has been strong because of the long-standing relationships of its members and its ability to share resources quickly, allowing it to work toward coordinated responses. The work of the North Carolina Local Food Council can serve as a model for other states that have state-level local food coun­cils or want to develop them. In addition, the Council’s work demonstrates how collaborations among statewide partners can foster resilience within local food systems, particularly during a public health crisis.

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Author Biographies

Angel Elisa Cruz, North Carolina Local Food Council

Coordinator

Alice S. Ammerman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Director, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and Professor, Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health

Nancy G. Creamer, Center for Environmental Farming Systems and North Carolina State University

Director, Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Community Based Food Systems, North Carolina State University

Barry Nash, North Carolina Sea Grant

Seafood Technology & Marketing Specialist

Ethan J. Phillips, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Intern, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and Undergraduate Student

Martha M. Przysucha, Carteret County Food and Health Council

Chair

Amanda S. Hege, Appalachian State University and Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina

MPH, RDN; Adjunct Faculty, Nutrition and Health Care Management, Appalachian State University, and Nutrition Educator, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina

Logo for JAFSCD Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Published
2021-02-22
How to Cite
Cruz, A., Ammerman, A., Creamer, N., Nash, B., Phillips, E., Przysucha, M., & Hege, A. (2021). Cultivating community resilience: How North Carolina’s food council is facilitating an effective response during COVID-19. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 10(2), 1–5. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.010
Section
Commentaries on COVID-19 and the Food System

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