Covid 19: Local and Regional Food Systems Covid 19 Rapid Response

Grants and Contracts Details


The COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health and social distancing mandates have created market interferences to local and regional food systems (LRFS) leading to disruptions to the supply chain, product spoilage, and losses in sales. The unprecedented speed and scope of the crisis requires adaptation and innovation that is equally fast and comprehensive. The variety and number of farm enterprises, value chain stakeholders, market channels, and food system infrastructure impacted is vast. The diversity of scale, scope, and community-based context of LRFS can be a strength in this moment if the innovations developed in real-time on the ground can be captured and rapidly disseminated. In order to address this market disruption in real time, the cooperative agreement will assist the Cooperator with implementing a rapid impact appraisal of the COVID-19 pandemic within local and regional food market channels. To that end, the Cooperator will work with the Federal Agency and sub-awardees to foster cross-sector collaboration, capture urgent and emergent strategies and innovations for COVID-19 response within and across LRFS, and translate those insights into readily accessible and actionable resources and educational materials. The overarching research questions guiding this community-based project are as follows: 1. How and in what ways are sectors of LRFS responding to COVID-19? 2. What adaptations have been successfully implemented in response to COVID-19? 3. What obstacles and impediments have they encountered in their response? a. How do policy regulations, support programs, and technical assistance vary among and within sectors? b. How are institutions with corresponding LRFS sectors adapting to these obstacles? 4. What are the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the sector, and what other value-chain impacts are observed? The Cooperator will oversee efforts to leverage the expertise and ongoing efforts by LRFS communities of practice (COP) to identify, aggregate, analyze, and disseminate educational materials and case studies documenting innovations and best practices for local food system adaptation to COVID-19 associated market disruptions. Community-based research efforts will focus on distilling strategies for addressing immediate, mid, and long-term obstacles to the economic viability of LRFS markets. Expected deliverables include: ? Centralized public web repository (“clearinghouse”) of current LRFS COP generated resources; ? Summary/best practice webinars, written guides and fact sheets; ? Rapid market assessments of each COP; ? 5-8 in-depth case studies (which will include AMS grantees); ? Resources to help producers to apply for CARES Act funding; ? Baseline and ongoing quantitative impact assessment, including a national study to explore changes in local and regional markets; and, ? Final report, including social network analysis, on work completed.
Effective start/end date5/15/205/13/22


  • Agricultural Marketing Service: $1,150,941.00


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