Community-led food resilience
Integrating grassroots food access into municipal emergency planning
The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was a severely disrupted conventional food system, exacerbating issues of food access for populations previously experiencing food insecurity. Simultaneously, the number of individuals requiring food assistance continued to rise. In Baltimore City, municipal emergency responders who were activated as part of the city’s food resilience plan worked overtime to coordinate adequate food access to communities in need. The challenges they faced were compounded by public health guidelines and policy restrictions, leaving common emergency food strategies such as community feeding untenable. However, the reaction to COVID-19 set the stage for new food response efforts outside the established network players. The need for a shift in food access strategies was answered by emergent, community-led partnerships engaging in responsive food recovery and distribution. . . .
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