Growing Food Connections: Stories of Opportunity

In 2015, eight communities from across the county were chosen as Communities of Opportunity (COO), places where there is significant potential to strengthen ties between small and medium –sized farmers and residents with limited food access. Each case study in the series contains sections highlighting opportunities and challenges within the county’s food system.  The brief summarizes the local public policy environment, including ways in which community-led civic organizations and private entrepreneurs have partnered with supportive county, city, and town governments. The case studies conclude with ‘Ideas for the Future’, a section on key future policy and implementation efforts that can strengthen each county’s food system. Chautauqua County and Wyandotte County case studies have been shared with the communities for broader distribution.

Growing Food Connections aims to use research, education, planning and policy to address the concerns of struggling farmers and vulnerable consumers by building capacity of local governments and their partners to create, implement and sustain food system policies and plans that both promote food security and foster a healthy agricultural sector. Growing Food Connections is supported by Agriculture and Food Research initiative Competitive Grant no. 2012-68004-19894 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. More information can be found at