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Six basic principles of
community food security

These six developing principles appear in many similar forms elsewhere.

Community food security includes a comprehensive strategy to address many of the ills affecting our society and environment due to an unsustainable and unjust food system.

Here are six basic principles of community food security:

Low-income food needs

Like the anti-hunger movement, community food security focuses on meeting the food needs of low-income communities, reducing hunger and improving individual health.

Broad goals

Community food security addresses a broad range of problems affecting the food system, community development and the environment. Problems include:

  • increasing poverty and hunger rates
  • disappearing farmland and family farms
  • inner-city supermarket redlining
  • rural community disintegration
  • rampant suburban sprawl, air and water pollution from unsustainable food production and distribution patterns

Community focus

A community food security approach builds community's food resources to meet the community's own needs. Resources may include supermarkets, farmers' markets, gardens, transportation, community-based food processing ventures and urban farms.

Self-reliance and empowerment

Community food security projects emphasize the need to build individuals' abilities to provide for their food needs rather than encourage dependence on charity. Community food security seeks to build upon community and individual assets, rather than focus on their deficiencies. Community food security projects seek to engage community residents in all phases of project planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Local agriculture

Stable local agricultural is key to a community-responsive food system. Farmers need more access to markets that pay them a decent price for the results of their labor. And farmland needs land-use planning to protect it from suburban development. By building stronger ties between farmers and consumers, consumers gain a greater knowledge of and appreciation for their food source.


Community food security programs are typically inter-disciplinary. They cross many boundaries and incorporate collaborations with multiple organizations.

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