Food systems encompass everything that is involved with food from seed to plate: governance, economics, conservation, development, labor, production, marketing, sales, distribution, packaging, preparation, consumption, disposal and more.
In the United States, food systems are complex, global, continuously evolving mechanisms that ensure access to nutrition for hundreds of millions and jobs for millions. Virtually every person in our nation is impacted by our food system on a daily basis – – every restaurant visited, farm-driven by, refrigerated truck on the road or grocery store trip is made possible – by this massive, interconnected web of industry, innovation, logistics, and basic human need.
In the frontier, residents have felt the effects of increased globalization and vertical integration within the food system, perhaps more acutely than anywhere else. As global distributors have taken over, many small, remote farmers once responsible for helping to feed their community saw competition. Then, as costs of fuel rose, these same distributors ceased bringing food to these frontier communities. Now, many of them are food deserts.
Increased need for emergency and supplemental food through food pantries, lack of healthy food access and a sweeping need for jobs propelled NCFC into action many years ago to revitalize frontier food systems through innovative programs, engaging policy work and a vision to help the frontier re-invest and strategically re-localize its food systems.
Keep up with all National Center for Frontier Communities is doing around the country. Sign-up for our newsletter today!