Nonprofit-Driven Community Capacity-Building Efforts in Community Food Systems


  • Mahbubur R. Meenar Temple University



Community Capacity, Community Food Systems, Nonprofit Organizations, Philadelphia, Organizational Capital, Human Capital, Physical Capital, Financial Capital, Social Capital


This paper explores how community-based nonprofit organizations (NPOs) build community capacity through their programs and initiatives while responding to community issues such as food insecurity and vulnerability. Based on an original survey, interviews, field observations, and spatial network analysis, the paper examines Philadelphia-based NPO-driven community capacity-building programs by using the community capitals framework, which includes human, physical, financial, social, and organizational capitals. The findings suggest that NPOs are making an important effort to build community capacity, while facing significant challenges related to administration, budget, collaboration, longevity, financial return, spatial mismatch, and community engagement. Concluding remarks include policy suggestions for NPOs that are working on community issues.

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Author Biography

Mahbubur R. Meenar, Temple University

Assistant Director, Center for Sustainable Communities, and Adjunct Faculty, Department of Community & Regional Planning, Temple University; 580 Meetinghouse Road; Ambler, Pennsylvania 19002 USA; +1-267-468-8314.



How to Cite

Meenar, M. R. (2015). Nonprofit-Driven Community Capacity-Building Efforts in Community Food Systems. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 6(1), 77–94.



Open Call Paper