Briefing Note 1: Attempts to organize the Flint food system


May 29, 2020 - Author: ,

In order to identify ways to improve Flint’s food system in the future, we must understand past attempts to organize the food system. We wanted to learn which stakeholders have tried to organize the food system over the last decade (2009-2019) and how they tried to do it. What worked well and what didn’t? Why did some things work and other things not work as well? We interviewed 26 people from non-profit organizations, government, religious organizations, and other groups to understand this. We found that between 2009 and the Flint Water Crisis, different stakeholder groups tried to organize the system to improve food access, in part through food policy initiatives. They were met with challenges due to distrust, conflict between organizations, and limited organizational capacity. In response to the disastrous Flint Water Crisis, many stakeholders began working collaboratively to access newly available resources and bring more healthy food into Flint. However, these efforts were less systematic in scope than earlier actions. Going forward, a greater emphasis is needed on building food system-wide strategies.

Suggested citation

Gerard, A. & M.C. Lopez. (2020). Attempts to organize the Flint Food System. Flint Leverage Points Briefing Note 1. Flint, Michigan: Community Foundation of Greater Flint and Michigan State University.

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