‘CONNECT Our Future’ Food Systems Project

Connect logo

The ‘CONNECT Our Future’ Food Systems Project worked to assess and support the food system of the greater metropolitan Charlotte region in 2014. Significant organizational development and technical assistance was provided to area food councils through this work.



In 2013, CFSA, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), and CEFS partnered with the Centralina Council of Governments and the Catawba Regional Council of Governments to support ‘CONNECT Our Future’, a three-year initiative funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program. The ‘CONNECT Our Future’ project aims to promote regional economic development, including the local and regional food system, in order to grow jobs, strengthen the economy, and improve quality of life in the Charlotte region. Our collaborative team worked on the food portion of this large, over-arching planning initiative.


This team produced a ‘Connect Our Future’ Food Systems Assessment Report (DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE).


Over 2013 and 2014, ASAP, CEFS, and CFSA worked collaboratively with community members, public and private partners, and non-profit organizations to conduct a regional food system assessment, develop an action plan for food system work, and foster the development of food policy councils in the Charlotte region.  The collaborative team engaged communities across a 14-county bi-state region including Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, and Union counties in North Carolina; Chester, Lancaster, Union, and York counties in South Carolina; and the Catawba Indian Nation.


CFSA provided direct support to the Catawba Food and Farm Coalition, the Cabarrus County Food Policy Council, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council, Bread Riot, and the Upper PeeDee Farm and Food Council throughout the duration of this project. A number of counties in the region also had community meetings to talk about forming new councils in their own communities based on energy and interest generated from this project. While the ‘CONNECT Our Future’ Food Systems Project officially ends on July 1, 2014, CFSA will continue to stay engaged in the region and to support Food Council formation and development.




Updated – 7.29.14

CONNECT Our Future Food Systems Assessment Executive Summary (.pdf) 

CONNECT Our Future Food System Assessment REPORT  (.pdf) 

CONNECT Our Future Food Systems ACTION PLAN (.pdf)

CONNECT Our Future Food System FRAMEWORK (.pdf)

CLICK ON A COUNTY on the map (or click a county name on the list at the bottom of this page) to discover vital local food and farm statistics!

Related Articles