Arlington Friends of Urban Agriculture News
Arlington County’s First Food Security Strategic Plan
October 21, 2022 by Robin Broder
Arlington County’s Food Security Task Force released its first-ever strategic plan for improving food security in Arlington.
Food insecurity affects at least 7% of Arlington residents and that number continues to rise amid continued inflation pressures. This plan reflects a concerted effort to ensure that investments and efforts are coordinated to meet the community’s food needs.
The plan was developed through a two-year effort that identified resources, needs, and gaps, and it includes 28 strategies grouped into five categories. Friends of Urban Agriculture participated on the task force that developed the plan to represent the contributions that can be made by locally grown food and gleaning. A new food security coalition will be created, under the direction of the county’s Food Security Coordinator, that will oversee the implementation of the plan’s recommendations.
The strategies in the plan address the gaps and barriers that residents face when accessing the food they need, improve the experience of accessing food assistance, and help those providing assistance to improve their coordination and service delivery.
The strategic plan includes 28 strategies grouped within five main categories:
- Systemic Change: Implementing policies and processes to reduce structural inequities that perpetuate food insecurity and health disparities within the community.
- Food Access: Increasing availability of affordable and free food through retail, school, and charitable partners.
- Outreach and Education: Improving access to information about available resources and building knowledge for increased nutrition security.
- Capacity Building: Strengthening food assistance providers’ ability to best address the needs of those accessing their services.
- Informed Decision Making: Leveraging data, collaborations, and participant feedback to monitor the needs, progress, and evolution of food security in Arlington.
All 28 strategies are listed in the Executive Summary and details on the each one can be found in the Food Security Strategic Plan.