ASAP Local Food Strong Farms Healthy Communities

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Program Post: ASAP in the Queen City


Each Thursday, ASAP’s programs take you behind the scenes of their work. This week our Local Food Research Center shares they’re beginning their research of another food system: that of Charlotte, NC, in partnership with great organizations working east of the mountains!

From ASAP’s Local Food Research Center: We Get to Work in the Queen City 

What is an ASAP Local Food Research Center (LFRC) employee’s idea of a vacation? Studying a distant local food system, of course! The cool weather is moving in, so we’ve shifted our sights to a slightly warmer climate to catch some R&R: researching and report writing. Our team has partnered with the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) and Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA), along with the Centralina Council of Governments and the Catawba Regional Council of Governments, to support CONNECT Our Future, a three-year initiative funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program. The CONNECT Our Future project aims to promote regional economic development, including the local and regional food system, in order to grow jobs, strengthen the economy, and improve quality of life in the Charlotte region.

Over the course of the next year, we’ll work collaboratively with community members, public and private partners, and nonprofit organizations to conduct a regional food system assessment, develop an action plan for food system work, and foster the development of food policy councils in the Charlotte region. For this project, ASAP, CEFS, and CFSA will engage communities across a 14-county bi-state region, including: Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, and Union counties in North Carolina; Chester, Lancaster, Union, and York counties in South Carolina; and the Catawba Indian Nation.

We’re looking for people to participate in public meetings and join the dialogue about the future of food in the Charlotte metropolitan area. If you live within the project region and are interested in helping to guide the growth of food and farming in your community, please contact Christy Shi-Day at to join the conversation! You can also share your knowledge of local food businesses on an inventory map (pictured above) to help ensure an accurate assessment. And stay tuned for more from us…

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