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Creating Constellations
not Stars

Adirondack Food System Network

The Adirondack Food System Network is a collaborative regional food council. We are led multiple organizations to better understand system-wide issues, identify gaps, and pursue realistic solutions to help cultivate more resilient regional food system through collective, equitable partnership. The Adirondack Food System Network is fiscally supported by AdkAction

 

The Adirondack Food System Network serves as the North Country’s food policy council, serving all 12 counties in or partially within the Adirondack Park. It is the state’s largest food policy council by geography.

Constellations are a group of stars that are brighter together than they are alone. Together they hold entire worlds. 

How We Work

The Network works in alignment with is core values: 

Transparency

Network efforts are driven by the belief that just and equitable food system must be a transparent one. This applies both to how the Network governs its business as a collaborative organization and to the food equity efforts it supports region-wide.

Empowerment

The Adirondack region is enormously varied in its population, territory, and needs. The Network therefore holds an empowerment-driven theory of change wherein it works to equip and support member organizations’ efforts rather than lead any particular charge itself.

 

Collaboration

The diversity of the Adirondacks requires any transformative efforts to be deeply collaborative in nature. The Network commits to materially fostering deeper collaboration between all members of the Adirondack food system across its work.

 

Equity

All food access work must be food equity work. The break downs across the Adirondack food system which unevenly distribute healthy food access must be addressed by elevating and platforming minoritized voices while working tirelessly to engage the systemic issues which create food access gaps across the region.

 

The Network is guided by a Steering Committee of stakeholders from across the food system and across the Adirondack North Country to lend direction, expertise, and resilience to the Networks’ initiatives.

The Steering Committee operates with three sub-committees:

 

1. Communications

 

2. Grant Writing

 

3. Food Justice Summit Planning

 

The Network will soon be facilitating three working groups that will be open to all Network members, which correspond to the 2023-2025 strategic plan:

 

1. Policy

 

2. Relationships

 

3. Data Gathering 

Information about becoming a member and joining a working group will be available in 2024.

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Our History

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, market supply chain and trade disruptions limited food accessibility, especially for vulnerable residents lacking access to transportation and the means to purchase fresh food. At the same time, farmers were faced with significant disruptions in market access, especially due to closure of restaurants, retail, and other food establishments, and threat of the loss of market access for area farmers. 

 

At that time, a group of Adirondack food system stakeholders across the region came together to launch the Adirondack Food Systems Network with seed funding from the Adirondack Foundation. The Network’s initial purpose was to help food systems stakeholders mount a coordinated effort to build back better food systems as the region recovers from the pandemic, centered on the values of collaboration, equity, environment, and lasting success. That initial coalition has grown and formalized thanks to support from the New York Health Foundation in 2021 and the Adirondack Health Institute to create a strategic plan and develop strong systems. 

 

In 2023, the Network’s Steering Committee members participated in a transformational retreat at the Blue Mountain Center to finalize its three-year strategic blueprint and prepare to launch its next phase of impact with AdkAction as a fiscal sponsor.

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