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Journal of Agriculture Food Systems and Community Development ; 10(2):241-245, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1244310


The novel coronavirus pandemic has had an immediate effect on food and nutrition security, leading to the most widespread increase in need for food assistance in modern history. At its onset, the pandemic led to emergency food providers experiencing the "perfect storm": surges in demand, declines and changes in types of food donations, limits in the food supply chain, and fewer available volunteers. This policy and practice brief provides perspectives from emergency food providers in North Carolina on their pandemic response along with recommendations for policy and practice applications to promote food security. As the pandemic continues, it is urgent for policymakers, organizations, community members, and other food system stakeholders to encourage collaboration across food system sectors, provide adequate funding for all aspects of distributing healthy foods, promote a continuation of program and policy flexibilities for nutrition programs, and support community-based models that engage a diverse group of organizations and leaders.

Journal of Agriculture Food Systems and Community Development ; 10(2):291-295, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1244303


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.