The data to support a thriving and informed local and regional food sector is part of the Local and Regional Food Systems Response to Covid: Recovery and Resilience, which was funded from 2020-2022 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service.
The Goals of the Project:
In part to accomplish these goals, teams of researchers and community partners reviewed and compiled available data using an equity lens into a single data warehouse to facilitate analysis and visualization. The initiative began with a review of the mission statements from national local and regional food system network organizations. Mission statements were organized into six categories – labor, local food sales infrastructure, business development and food infrastructure, community resources, nutrition security and food access, and policy. Document briefs identifying key related data indicators available nationwide at the county level were prepared for each category, except policy.
The project team used seven categories identified by We All Count to outline our framework while putting it under a food systems lens (data equity framework.). Reliance on existing data limited the ability to disaggregate data by dimensions of race, ethnicity, and citizenship status. As a result, we encourage the use of practices that invite community members to help contextualize data, share their personal stories, and amplify community solutions. The data warehouse is open-source and additional contributions are welcome.