A collaborative approach to COVID-19 response

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems community-based food system initiatives

  • Shorlette Ammons Center For Environmental Farming Systems
  • Sarah Blacklin Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Dara Bloom Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Shironda Brown Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Marcello Cappellazzi Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Nancy Creamer Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Angel Cruz Center for Environmental Farming Systems https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3872-6109
  • Janie Hynson Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Gini Knight Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Laura Lauffer Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Kathleen Liang Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Lee Menius Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Abbey Piner Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Arneisha Smallwood Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Robyn Stout Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Caroline Stover Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Tessa Thraves Center for Environmental Farming Systems
  • Bevelyn Ukah Center for Environmental Farming Systems
Keywords: Community, Food System, Networking, Funding, Racial Equity, COVID-19, COVID-19 Response, Pandemic, Local Food

Abstract

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) has spent the past two decades developing local food systems to support communities and increase resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how existing structural inequities, primarily along racial lines, are exacerbated. It has also shown the value of community-based food systems work that helps communities network, sharing valuable resources and funding to respond to the ongoing crisis. In this article, we document how CEFS’ community-based food systems initiatives are responding to the pandemic. Some of CEFS programs are community-based, working with food policy councils, offering racial equity trainings, networking schools and early care and education sites, and supporting youth convenings and internships. Others are focused on production and supply chains for meat, seafood, and produce in order to develop stronger local food systems. Through­out the work of all of CEFS’ community-based food systems initiatives in response to the pandemic, we have learned that our past efforts have increased local food systems resilience. We also note the impor­tance of flexible funders who allowed grant dollars to be reallocated to community partners to address urgent needs. We have found that online programming has increased participation and access to resources. Finally, we have been inspired by the creativity, flexibility, and adaptability of our community partners, and we are energized to continue to support them while also offering the resources we have developed to a broader audience.

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Author Biographies

Shorlette Ammons, Center For Environmental Farming Systems

Equity in Food Systems Extension Associate, Committee on Racial Equity in the Food System, NC State University

Sarah Blacklin, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Program Director, NC Choices, North Carolina State University

Dara Bloom, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Ph.D., Associate Professor and Local Foods Extension Specialist, Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences; CEFS Assistant Director of Community Based Food Systems

Shironda Brown, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Training Project Coordinator, NC Farm to Early Care and Education, North Carolina State University

Marcello Cappellazzi, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Communications Specialist, North Carolina State University

Nancy Creamer, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Community Based Food Systems, Horticulture Department; Former CEFS Co-Director, North Carolina State University

Angel Cruz, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Ph.D., Academic and Extension Initiatives Manager, North Carolina State University

Janie Hynson, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Communications Manager, North Carolina State University

Gini Knight, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Program Coordinator, Community Food Strategies, North Carolina State University

Laura Lauffer, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Project Director, EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems, North Carolina State University

Kathleen Liang, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Ph.D., W. K. Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, CEFS Co-Director, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Lee Menius, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Technical Program Coordinator, NC Choices, North Carolina State University

Abbey Piner, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Program Director, Community Food Strategies, North Carolina State University

Arneisha Smallwood, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Outreach Assistant, Farm to School, North Carolina State University

Robyn Stout, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Statewide Coordinator, NC 10% Campaign, North Carolina State University

Caroline Stover, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Project Director, NC Farm to Early Care and Education, North Carolina State University

Tessa Thraves, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Farm to School Coordinator, North Carolina State University

Bevelyn Ukah, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

Youth Food Systems Coordinator, North Carolina State University

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Published
2021-03-16
How to Cite
Ammons, S., Blacklin, S., Bloom, D., Brown, S., Cappellazzi, M., Creamer, N., Cruz, A., Hynson, J., Knight, G., Lauffer, L., Liang, K., Menius, L., Piner, A., Smallwood, A., Stout, R., Stover, C., Thraves, T., & Ukah, B. (2021). A collaborative approach to COVID-19 response: The Center for Environmental Farming Systems community-based food system initiatives. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 10(2), 297–302. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.004
Section
Commentaries on COVID-19 and the Food System