The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines food security as a “situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
The USDA states that food security “for a household means access by all members at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Food security includes at a minimum the ready availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, and an assured ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways (that is, without resorting to emergency food supplies, scavenging, stealing, or other coping strategies).”
Hamm and Bellows (2003) proposed a definition of community food security (CFS) “as a situation in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes community self-reliance and social justice.”
Our project will begin with definitions such as these as we embark on a five-year effort to understand how community and regional food systems (CRFS) can best function to provide community food security and related goals.