R2G in Action

Food Systems

Toward Resilient Food Systems

Questions we need to be asking….

How can we rethink food production to increase food security for urban residents?

How can we reconnect people with healthy food?

How can we diversify local farm production and build a regional food market economy?

How can we network regional farmers to share information, knowledge and market power?

A food system is everything from the field to the fork and back again. There are many important steps along the way that you may never see, such as the manufacturing and application of farm inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, seeds), the processing and packaging of food products, and the management of wastes. The food system also includes both the human actors and environmental resources needed to fuel it.

A truly viable and sustainable food system encompasses the goals of social equity and human health, economic vitality, and environmental health. A sustainable food system exists when production, processing, distribution, access, consumption, and waste management are integrated and these practices improve or maintain natural resources, are just and accessible, and support the resilience of local communities and economies.

R2G NY is engaging in food system research and action projects that work toward increasing food system resilience, activating and leveraging food system assets, insuring food access, security, quality and justice and increasing community and individual health and well-being. Short and long term strategies and policies are needed in cities like Utica NY to address food security challenges which are on the rise due to high poverty levels, increasing need and competition for funds and resources. Still other forward thinking policies and actions are needed to generate and cultivate a resilient regional food system that is an engine for economic development, community renewal, environmental health and resource conservation.



More About
Food Economies


For the good partnered with the city of Utica and R2G to launch two community gardens. The urban garden initiative is a community driven initiative that provides inner city residents with fresh fruits and vegetables in exchange for working in the gardens.

"We are focusing on feeding people in the inner city who don't have the financial resources to feed themselves. If you grow your own food you will never go hungry".
- Community Organizer Abby Getman of For the Good

The once vacant lot has become a source of food and exercise for local residents, welcoming people of all ages. "It's more dignified for people to grow their own food rathr than going to a soup kitchen, and it creates skills and self-esteem".
- Cassandra Harris -Lockwood, CEO, For the Good