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Community Food Assessments

Community food assessments examine a broad range of food-related challenges and triumphs to improve a particular community’s food system. Through such assessments, interested community members can work together to (1) research what is happening within their food system, (2) communicate those findings, and (3) support policy changes based on those findings. As noted by the Community Food Security Coalition, a local or community food assessment is a powerful way to tell the story of what’s happening with food in a community based on the collection of data, reports, and feedback from residents.

Food Assessments can have many different purposes:

  • Research to better understand key issues
  • Needs assessment—inventorying needs, trends, and gaps
  • Opportunity assessment—anticipating possibilities
  • Tracking of population-level data
  • Evaluation to improve programs or policies
  • Coalition building
  • Advocacy and awareness building

This content has been developed to support individuals and organizations across Colorado to better understand their food system for any of these purposes.

Many of the tools and guidance documents provided throughout this section were developed by Spark Policy Institute with WPM Consulting and LiveWell Colorado as part of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s ARRA grant. Funding was provided through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, grant number FOA#90101ARRA09.