Local & Regional Food Systems Response to COVID-19 and Recovery and Resilience

Background & Overview

“What would 2020 have looked like if a collaborative network of research, engagement, and outreach across local and regional food system stakeholders, university researchers, and USDA leadership had been in place?”

This is the question the Local and Regional Food System (LRFS) Recovery and Resilience project asks as the team reflects upon and examines the lessons, impacts, and successes of the first phase of the LRFS Response to COVID-19 project and frames its future mission. This project focuses on translating lessons learned from local food systems stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic and simultaneous social crisis into a specific, long-term collaborative strategy for fostering recovery, and equitable approaches to LRFS resilience.

Key Takeaways

To achieve these goals the team continues to support:

  • LRFS Data and Metrics – Fostering greater data efficacy and literacy by engaging project stakeholders in aggregating data and metrics from primary and secondary sources, completing a gap analysis of existing LRFS data, providing peer mentorship for collecting and assessment with LRFS Data and Metrics, and developing a data dashboard to increase accessibility to available data;
  • Network of Networks – Cross-agency and sector learning, collaboration, and strategic action via a facilitated Network of Networks that convenes organizations leading LRFS stakeholder networks, university-based researchers, and USDA staff and leadership to share urgent and emergent issues, coordinate strategies and programing; and,
  • Resilience Playbook – Synthesizing findings from data gathered and lessons learned into a Resilience Playbook to support policy makers, funders, and LRFS leaders.

Full Report

For further information, a list of resources, and to sign up for the listserv visit the website.

For questions, please contact:
Samantha Schaffstall
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
Email: samantha.schaffstall@usda.gov