Our Approach

How we help with Food System Disaster Planning

We use our training in food systems and experience in urban economic development to improve planning and partnerships for food system disaster response and recovery. Our approach is grounded in the realities of today’s food systems and the inequities within cities, making our plans effective, operational and equitable.

We tailor our services to each of our partner’s needs within four areas of support.


Assessing current state

Do your existing emergency plans adequately cover potential food system disruptions? 

To identify any critical gaps in a city or region’s emergency plans for food system disruptions, we review relevant plans and planning initiatives across the community, conduct expert interviews, map food system and planning stakeholders, and prioritize hazards from a food system perspective.  

See our recent baseline assessment for the Portland Metro region.

Identifying what to include in plans

What should you plan for in terms of food system disruptions?  

While most vulnerability analyses look at the entire food system from production through food waste, our proprietary, systems-based, FCG framework focuses on the parts of the system that matter most to emergency response and recovery planning. As a result, our plans identify the most significant disruptions to food supply chains and food access, and the most vulnerable communities.  

Read about our food system vulnerability analysis for the City of Boston.

Strengthening planning

What type of planning will ensure your region is adequately prepared for food system disruptions?

Rather than treating recovery and response as distinct phases, our Sustained Emergency Food Planning model integrates planning for both phases. The integration means system recovery is actually embedded in emergency plans. Our planning process also builds private-public and community relationships before disasters happen, ensuring all local resources are leveraged in the response effort.

Supporting plans and operations

What support is needed to ensure plans are actionable when disaster strikes?

Even the most comprehensive plan may not lead to effective operations when a disaster strikes, especially plans to address food system disruptions. As auxiliary team members, we make sure your plan is ready for operations by maintaining relationships with key community-based organizations (CBOs) and disaster relief agencies, updating inventories of food assets, performing ongoing vendor assessments, and more.