Community Food Systems

Oregon Food Bank believes that in order to truly end hunger, we need to engage the whole community to develop innovative solutions that address the root causes of hunger. For the last 15 years, Oregon Food Bank has been at the forefront of the development of one of these solutions: building community-based food systems.

A healthy community food system is a food-centered collaborative network integrating food production, processing, distribution and waste management that enhances the economy, environment, health and social fabric of a particular place. And when a community’s food system is organized, citizens become more connected, partnerships flourish, locally-responsive programs emerge and the community becomes more resilient to social, economic or environmental pressures.

What makes a healthy food system?

A healthy community food system means:

  • better supported farmers and farm workers

  • thriving local food businesses

  • greater access to quality, healthy food

  • availability of family-wage jobs

  • ultimately less people requiring emergency food assistance


Our award-winning* FEAST (Food, Education, Agriculture, Solutions, Together) program helps communities mobilize around improving their local food systems.

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Community Food Assessments

Since 2008, Oregon Food Bank has conducted grassroots community food assessments on a county-by-county basis throughout the state.

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Our Leadership

Oregon Food Bank plays a key role in the local and national Community Food Systems movement as both a convener of partners, and as an innovator* of new approaches to community food systems work.

We’ve hosted the national community food systems conference, Closing the Hunger Gap, and serve on the conference’s national leadership team.

Oregon Food Bank is also part of the leadership team working on the development of the Oregon Community Food Systems Network.

*Oregon Food Bank received the Innovation in Food Banking Award from Feeding America in 2013 for the FEAST program

Questions? Contact:

Spencer Masterson
Statewide Network Manager

Tracy Gagnon
Community Food Systems Developer

Sharon Thornberry
Rural Communities Liaison