By Angie Lavezzo, CFSA Communications Coordinator | Friday, June 10, 2022
Volunteers pause for a picture in Cabarrus County. Photo courtesy of Cabarrus County Farm & Food Council.

People choose to volunteer their time for a variety of reasons. For some, it offers the chance to serve their community or make a difference in the lives of others. For others, it can mean an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. Regardless of the motivation, what unites all volunteers is that they find it challenging, rewarding, and a ready-made opportunity to connect with others.

Don’t miss: 5 Reasons You Should Support and Get Involved with Your Local Food Council

What about you? You have a passion for local, nutritious, and sustainable food systems. Food councils are a wonderful place to give your time and energy. The range of work that food councils handle is guaranteed to offer a match for your skills and abilities.

Want to learn a bit more about the work of food councils first? Check out Community Food Strategies. Not only is CFSA a proud partner of Community Food Strategies—a hub for local food councils and individuals across North Carolina who want to grow their voices through food—they also have many resources and events if you’re looking to dig deeper.

Ready to dive right in? We’ve compiled a list of active food councils in the Carolinas that would love to utilize your skills to advance the mission of just and equitable food systems. Find your region below, and reach out!

Scroll the complete list or jump to regional sections: Statewide | Coastal SC | Midlands SC | Upstate SC | Western NC | Charlotte Metro NC | Triad NC | Triangle NC | Northeast NC | Southeast NC


South Carolina Food Policy Council

  • Website
  • Mission: The SC Food Policy Council strives to advance the production and consumption of healthy foods in South Carolina through education and strategic policy planning.

North Carolina Local Food Council

  • Website
  • Mission: The North Carolina Local Food Council (NCLFC) is a statewide food council comprised of individuals working collaboratively across organizations and agencies to support local food producers and retailers across the state. NCLFC council members meet monthly to connect, collaborate, and update.

Coastal SC

Pick 42 Foundation / Mullins Food Policy Council / Neighbors Helping Neighbors

  • Location: Marion County, SC
  • Website
  • Mission: Pick 42 Foundation, Inc. ~ Neighbors Helping Neighbors’ (NHN) primary mission is to help children. They believe that impacting children’s lives will ultimately aid the entire family, community, and nation overall. They are proud to serve the residents of Marion County, SC.

Midlands SC

Columbia Food Policy Council

  • Location: Columbia, SC
  • Website
  • Mission: The purpose of the Columbia Food Policy Council is to:
    • Advise City of Columbia staff, city council members, the mayor, and community organizations and partners regarding the city’s food policy-related issues.
    • Support a food systems analysis study and address the study’s findings and recommendations.
    • Develop and implement initiatives with the city council that support promoting a sustainable, financially viable local food system for the midlands area.

West Columbia-Cayce Food Council

  • Location: Lexington & Richland Counties, SC
  • Website

Rowan County farmers Randy and Pam Elium of Elium Farm with Michelle Sweatt, the nutrition coordinator at Rufty Holmes.

Tri-County Health

  • Location: Orangeburg, Bamberg, & Calhoun Counties, SC
  • Tri-County Health is a new organization in the formation stages.

Upstate SC

Spartanburg Food System Coalition

  • Location: Spartanburg, SC
  • Website
  • Mission: Spartanburg Food System Coalition’s mission is to strengthen all aspects of the local food system, increase access to healthy food, and comprehensively address food-related issues in Spartanburg.

Oconee Food Council

  • Location: Spartanburg, SC
  • Website
  • Mission: The Oconee Food Summit events give residents of Oconee County, SC an opportunity to learn, network, and organize for a more sustainable, inclusive, and nourishing food future.

Greenville Food Security Coalition

  • Location: Greenville, SC
  • Website
  • Mission: GFSC envisions a Greenville County where all community members have equitable access to healthy foods, comprehensive community infrastructure to support those in need, and a support system that enables individuals to move towards permanent food security.

Greenwood Food Policy Council

  • Location: Lexington & Richland Counties, SC
  • Greenwood Food Policy Council is a new organization in the formation stages.

Catawba Farm and Food Coalition

  • Location: Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Union, York Counties, and the Catawba Indian Nation, SC
  • Website
  • Mission: Catawba Farn and Food Coalition envisions a secure and sustainable food system as one in which local farms are economically viable, their agricultural lands are supporting a much larger percentage of the Catawba Region’s food needs, and all members of their region have access to fresh local foods.

York County Food Policy Council

  • Location: York County, SC
  • York County Food Policy Council is a new organization in the formation stages.

Western NC

Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council

  • Location: Buncombe County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: ABFPC’s vision is that all residents of Buncombe County have access to and the option to cultivate and prepare nutritious food within a resilient and sovereign foodshed that sustainably harvests and conserves farmland, forests, and water resources, sustains our population, collaborates with neighboring counties, and ensures a thriving agriculture-related economy.

Catawba County Food Council

  • Location: Catawba County, NC
  • Catawba County Food Policy Council is a new organization in the formation stages.

McDowell County Local Food Advisory Council

  • Location: McDowell County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: To support farmers, pantries, and those most in need in McDowell County, NC.
  • Specific volunteer needs:
    • Box packing,
      • Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
      • Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoons, 12:15 – 3:30 pm
    • Jacktown Food Distribution
      • Tuesday, 3:30 – 5:00 pm
    • Food Box Deliveries
      • Tuesday and Friday: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Rutherford County Food Council

  • Location: Rutherford County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Rutherford County Food Council is a coalition of community members working together to build a local food system that fosters a thriving agricultural economy and ensures equitable access to healthy and affordable foods for all Rutherford County, NC, residents.

Watauga Food Council

  • Location: Watauga County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Watauga Food Council’s vision is a food system that is just and fair, builds a strong community, supports vibrant farms, nourishes healthy people, supports sustainable ecosystems, and builds a thriving local economy.

Charlotte Metro NC

Cabarrus Farm and Food Council

  • Location: Cabarrus County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Promoting farmers, preserving farmland, and encouraging the production & consumption of local food.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council

  • Location: Mecklenburg County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council exists to advocate for policies that build a sustainable, equitable, and healthy local food system. The goals of their council are to enhance the health of their citizens, strengthen local economies and market opportunities, and reduce hunger and food insecurity.
  • Areas of need: CMFPC needs volunteers to help at the Farmers Markets with the SNAP Double Bucks program. Also seeking volunteers to help with aspects of food rescue, including collecting produce after farmers market ends and driving the food to other sites.

Rowan Food and Farm Network

  • Location: Rowan County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Rowan Food and Farm Network’s mission is to bring together public and private stockholders in a partnership by supporting and promoting a robust local, sustainable food system. Their Goals & Objectives: *Educate the citizens of Rowan County about Healthy Food Choices. *Provide networking opportunities for vendors, consumers, farmers, and community agencies. *Develop strategies to reduce food insecurity and increase food access in their county.
  • Right now, they are working on developing their 501 c-3 status. Currently, they are under the Bread Riot umbrella. RFFN also operates as a platform to share resources and connect to different agencies.

Union County Food Council

  • Location: Union County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Union County Food Council seeks to build a thriving food system from the farm to the kitchen table, which encompasses healthy lifestyles, access to nutritious food, and an economically prosperous community for all Union County residents.

Triad NC

Alamance Food Collaborative

  • Location: Alamance County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Healthy Alamance’s mission is to mobilize resources to develop and support a healthy, nurturing community.

Caswell County Local Foods Council

  • Location: Caswell County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Caswell County Local Food Council’s mission is to increase consumer access to and knowledge of fresh and nutritious foods and build a food economy. This provides greater food security for all in Caswell County by circulating money from local farmer food sales, creating jobs and prosperity.

Davidson County Local Food Network

  • Location: Davidson County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The Davidson County Food System Network is a community network working toward building an equitable and resilient food system for their community’s health and economic welfare.

Guilford Food Council

  • Location: Greensboro & Guilford County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The Guilford Food Council is a collection of individuals, organizations, and agencies working to build a better food system in Guilford County, NC.

Greater High Point Food Alliance

  • Location: High Point, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The GHPFA strives to coordinate and improve the effectiveness of entities in greater High Point focused on alleviating hunger by creating and executing city-wide and neighborhood-focused initiatives to develop more just and sustainable food systems.

Island CultureZ

  • Location: Winston-Salem, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Island CultureZ is a community-driven development hub for building back community wealth in historically neglected and excluded communities in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They do this by working cooperatively to create viable worker-owned jobs, increase market access and market alternatives, build back land ownership, build democratic community control, and restore community health through the fertile economic avenues of local food & agriculture.

Piedmont Triad Food Council

  • Location: 12 counties within the Triad, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The PTRC’s mission is to improve the lives of our community through creative regional solutions. They accomplish this through their programs that include the area agency on aging, community development, criminal justice, regional planning, and workforce development.

Winston Salem Urban Food Policy Council

  • Location: Winston-Salem, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The purpose of the Urban Food Policy Council is to initiate and promote actions that increase food access in Winston-Salem, with a particular emphasis on activities in the urban core. The council is committed to identifying and developing new ways to educate the community about the importance of healthy, fair, and sustainable local food.

Rockingham Food Council

  • Location: Rockingham County, NC
  • Rockingham County Food Council is a new organization in the formation stages.

Food-centered kids activities in Rutherford County. Photo courtesy of Rutherford County Food Council.

Triangle NC

Chatham Community Food Council

  • Location: Chatham County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The Chatham Community Food Council serves as a bridge across various organizations, agencies, and groups who support vibrant farms and food producers, healthy people, strong communities, thriving local economies, and resilient ecosystems through a common aim: strengthening Chatham County’s local food system.
  • Areas of specific help desired:
    • Strategy and product research with an equity focus.
    • Making contact with individuals and community organizations with similar goals.
    • Logistics related to projects or events.

SEEDS Youth Food Council

  • Location: Durham, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Founded in 1994, SEEDS is a two-acre urban garden and kitchen classroom in the heart of Durham. SEEDS develops the capacity of young people to respect life, the earth, and each other through growing, cooking, and sharing food.

Orange County Food Council

  • Location: Orange County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The Orange County Food Council (OCFC) is a coalition of community members working to grow a local food system that ensures health, sustainable agriculture, a thriving local food economy, and access for all. The council’s work is in building partnerships, identifying issues, and coordinating action. This unique model brings together the many interests in the local food system to identify issues and create lasting change.

Capital Area Food Network

  • Location: Wake County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Capital Area Food Network is a community-led non-profit of Wake County citizens and organizations working together to support, sustain, and improve our local food system. They always welcome new voices and members interested in helping reach our mission: To cultivate healthy individuals, communities, and economies through vibrant food and farm systems.

Northeast NC

Beaufort Heal Collaborative

  • Location: Beaufort County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The Beaufort County Healthy Eating Active Living Collaborative acts as a strong, empowering voice to catalyze healthy eating and active living in Beaufort County. They envision Beaufort County as a vibrant, healthy place for all to live, work, and play.

Just Foods

  • Location: Edgecombe & Nash Counties, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The Just Foods Collaborative is a Food Council serving Edgecombe and Nash Counties in North Carolina. They are an inclusive body of people working to build healthy and viable communities through quality food.

Pitt County Farm & Food Council

  • Location: Pitt County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The Pitt County Farm and Food Council promotes a healthy, sustainable, equitable, and economically viable community food system. By fostering a network, they initiate, support, and promote programs and policies that educate the community, diminish food disparities, and protect farmland.

Wilson County Food Council Task Force

  • Location: Wilson County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Wilson Food Council is currently in its seed phase and is excited about growing. Their goal is to increase access to healthy local food and grow the local food infrastructure.

Fresh food distribution in Forsyth County. Photo courtesy of Winston Salem Urban Food Policy Council.

Kerr-Tar Regional Food Council

  • Location: Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance, & Warren Counties, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: In 2019 the Kerr-Tar Regional Food Policy was enacted with the intention to provide a strategy for growing a sustainable regional food system, encompassing sustainable food production, processing, distribution, marketing, consumption, and waste management.

Upper Coastal Plain Local Food Network

  • Location: North Hampton, Halifax, Nash, Edgecombe, & Wilson Counties, NC
  • Website
  • Upper Coastal Plain Local Food Network is in the formation stages.

Southeast NC

Carteret Food and Health Council

  • Location: Carteret County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The Carteret Food and Health Council’s vision is a community-driven food system that preserves farmland and seafood waters, fosters healthy eating, and ensures equitable food access for all.
  • Areas of specific needs from volunteers:
    • Social media support and graphics
    • Pickup and delivery of food waste & recovery
    • Garden support

Cumberland County Food Council

  • Location: Fort Bragg & Cumberland County, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Cumberland County Food Council’s mision is to provide a forum for representatives involved in all aspects of the local food system to foster effective policies, programs, and community collaboration that decrease food insecurity and increase access to healthy foods within Fort Bragg and Cumberland County.

Cape Fear Food Council

  • Location: New Hanover, Pender, & Brunswick Counties, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: The Cape Fear Food Council is a collaboration of individuals and organizations with a shared interest in supporting and strengthening the local food system.

Youth Ambassadors, Women & Men United for Youth & Families

  • Location: Bladen, Brunswick, & Columbus Counties, NC
  • Website
  • Mission: Founded in  2015, Youth Ambassadors for a Better Community (YABC) is a mission-based youth leadership group. They started out on a mission to increase the quantity, quality, and sustainability of community gardens across the tri-county area while instilling leadership, entrepreneurship, and social skills into their youth.

Once you have found a food council to pledge your time and skills to, it’s important to remember a few things.

  • Most people you interact with along the way are also volunteering their time. The majority of food council momentum is made up of the time and enthusiasm of people that aren’t collecting a paycheck. Be kind and offer grace if it takes some time to respond to your queries. Community-based organizations are made up of folks doing their best with the extra time they have to give, and that’s all they are looking for from you.
  • Perfection is not required for positive change, but a good attitude and a passion for grassroots change is.
  • Have fun, think creatively, and together, we can help make food insecurity and inequity a thing of the past.