In January 2017, the Healthy Food Healthy People work group, part of the Creating a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative, along with experienced food planning consultants Amy Baskes and Joanna Helon, embarked on a year-long planning process to create the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan. This resident-driven/informed process was grounded in the belief that all residents of Niagara Falls should have access to nutritious and affordable food.
The NFLFAP provides a framework of common goals and actions that serve to bring together residents, schools, community organizations, businesses and local government in supporting a healthy, strong, and resilient local food system. The plan’s goals and actions represent those that were identified by residents and stakeholders, ranked highest amongst subcommittee members and represent those with the greatest potential for a positive impact on the unique food related issues facing the Niagara Falls community. The plan seeks to address the results of significant social issues such as poverty, underemployment and unemployment that contribute to inequalities in access to fresh, affordable food for Niagara Falls residents.
Through this resident-informed planning process, the vision for the plan evolved to tackling food access issues in four priority areas: agriculture, healthy neighborhoods, education, and economic development. By the time it was completed, more than 400 unique community members made their voice heard.