A recent special issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development on the topic of Local Government in Food Systems Work was released last month. Sponsored by the Growing Food Connections (GFC) national initiative, the issue includes 11 manuscripts on local food policy.

Based on reports from the United States and Canada, the special issue seeks to encourage food policy practitioners, researchers and advocates to reimagine the roles local governments play in food policy and how they play them. For Food Policy Monitor readers who want a deeper understanding of emerging trends and critiques of current local food policy, this collection provides an excellent overview and synthesis of recent developments.

The articles, all available here in full-text on line include:

In their opening editorial to the special issue, Samina Raja and her colleagues conclude, “It is only fitting that the way forward for local governments be about reflecting inward, reaching outward, and perhaps reimagining how our food system, as a civil commons, can best serve all community members.” For those of us doing food policy in New York City, these articles may suggest new directions for our next stage of work.

Growing Food Connections is a partnership which seeks to enhance community food security while ensuring sustainable and economically viable agriculture and food production. It seeks to build the capacity of local governments to remove public policy barriers and deploy innovative public policy tools.