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Module 6: Sustainability of Rural Food Access Programs

Developing a sustainability plan early in the life cycle of a food access initiative will provide the opportunity to identify milestones as well as guide an initiative toward its ultimate goal.

The nature of the initiative determines what strategies to include in the sustainability plan. Many initiatives get started with grant or loan funds with the intention of pursuing additional funding moving forward. Other initiatives rely on consumers and/or donors to keep the business afloat. There may also be creative strategies about sustainability in place, such as developing urban-rural alliances to reinforce the food system. However the initiative intends to sustain itself, transparency is important and early conversations should be had with key stakeholders.

For a general overview of the how-to plan for the sustainability of your program, see Planning for Sustainability in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.

Resources to Learn More

California Farm to Fork Strategic Plan: 2015-2018
Document
Example of an objective-based strategic plan for reducing the impact of food insecurity and developing a diverse, healthy food system.
Organization(s): California Farm to Fork
Date: 2014

Planning for Food Access and Community-Based Food Systems: A National Scan and Evaluation of Local Comprehensive and Sustainability Plans
Document
Final, four-part report presenting results from a national survey and evaluation of local comprehensive plans and sustainability plans. Designed to identify which types of plans work most effectively as local governments design and implement holistic food access programs. Four distinct sections cover the survey results and methods, plan evaluation, the planning process, and recommendations.
Organization(s): American Planning Association
Date: 11/2012

This module discusses some sustainability strategies to consider for programs addressing rural food access, including funding opportunities, broken down by model type.

In this module: