Food System Resources: How to Get Your Hands Dirty!

Information about food systems, including current endeavors connected to Virginia Tech and the New River Valley community.

Getting involved can be tricky. But we want to help you get involved or even start your own project. We are inviting everyone in the New River Valley to participate in the community food systems that are growing around us!

In addition to the resources in this guide, the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) has produced a bunch of resources to support food system development. A living list can be found on their Community, Local, and Regional Food Systems page. 

Some resources you may find particularly useful from

Developing Your Own Project!

Developing a community food system is an intricate process and requires many pieces. At the core of this process, you must take into consideration your community, your target audience, and the pieces that will make your project intertwine with existing food systems. With your project, the main goal should be to enhance and strengthen the existing coalition. A Community Food System










A few notes: 

  • Have a long-term vision for your local food system and create your project so it balances with the environmental, economic, and social aspects of your target community. 
  • Figure out and incorporate your community values to engage participation from a wide-cross section of people. 

  • Find leaders who can assist you in guiding a coalition, identifying specific projects, managing finances,  and aiming for a long-term mission. 

  • Initiate concrete, doable projects that intertwine the economic, social, and environmental aspects of the community food system.

  • Evaluate and record all of the progress of the projects to measure how well they are doing in the context of long-term goals. 

  • Find adequate resources and an organizational structure to your system so it can start to work and then continue to work. 

Read more in-depth on how to create your own project here! (Article written by Steven Garrett and Gail Feenstra)

Types of Doable Projects!

  • Rent a plot at your local community garden

  • Host a food drive and donate to your local food pantry

  • Start your own food business and use a community kitchen

  • Volunteer with or Donate to an organization on this page

  • Contact leaders in your area about starting a new community garden

  • Create a book share with resources on sustainability 

  • Grow fresh produce and donate to the Share the Spare program

Where to volunteer!