New resource on accessing healthy food in the age of COVID-19. Featuring local government policies that accelerate, prioritize or facilitate food access during the pandemic.
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Feeding Communities in the Face of Adversity: Follow-up discussions on policy and planning strategies

August 5, 2020 9:00-10:00 AM CT

Registration Link

On May 27, 2020, the Healthy Food Policy Project hosted a webinar (which can be found on YouTube) in which we discussed the use of planning and policy tools to address major shocks to local food systems during emergencies such as pandemics and natural disasters. Our talk revolved around how planning can proactively shape the resiliency of food systems, how local policymakers can respond, and how municipalities are beginning to develop policies that can shape their food systems well into the future. We know that there were many questions that attendees had that were not answered.

This webinar will create space for these discussions using break out rooms to discuss the following topics:

  • Bridging gap between planners and food system practitioners (including food systems mapping)
  • Emergency food response policy and planning approaches for smaller cities and non-urban communities
  • Laws that Support Fresh Food Sales/Purchases, Food Cultivation, Hunting or Fishing
  • Policy Strategies for Ongoing Food Access for Priority Populations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • The role of food policy councils during emergency response situations

These rooms will allow for a conversation among attendees to share and learn from one another. Please select which group you would like to be a part of when you register.

Due to the discussion structure of the webinar, we will not be posting an archived recording online.


Ross Daniels is the community planner at the Public Health Law Center, where he supports community efforts to align land use planning, community design, and public health law and policy goals. At the Center, Ross primarily works with partners seeking to improve community health through food systems, bicycle/pedestrian, and parks/greenspace planning.

Amanda Karls is a staff attorney at the Public Health Law Center where she works across a variety of issues related to healthy eating policy. Among other things, Ms. Karls leads legal analysis efforts for the Healthy Food Policy Project. Amanda also has experience in civil litigation, civil appeals, and state and federal regulatory issues. She has particular interest in local policy matters and has lent her expertise to a variety of municipally-focused non-profit and community-based organizations.

Lihlani Nelson is the Associate Director at the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS). She has a background in agriculture and food systems, having received a dual masters from UW Madison in Agroecology and Urban and Regional Planning. Before joining the CAFS team, she was a Program Associate with the National Farm to School Network.

Luis Nieves-Ruiz is the Economic Development Manager for the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, a council of governments located in Orlando, Florida. His areas of expertise include conducting food system assessments and analyzing how local jurisdictions regulate food uses. Luis is a member of the first cohort of the Urban Land Institute’s Health Leaders Network and a Wallace Center at Winrock International’s Regional Food Economies Fellow. His work has also been recognized by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida, the National Association of Development Organizations, Next City, and Leadership Florida.

Anne Palmer is a program director at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and an associate scientist at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Ms. Palmer directs the Food Policy Networks project, an initiative that operates at a national level to build the capacity of food policy councils to advocate for policy at the regional, state, and local level.

Registration Link


Feeding Communities in the Face of Adversity: Municipal Emergency Planning & Policy Options for Healthy Food Access

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced extraordinary shocks to our food systems, including huge affordability and supply chain impacts. Many municipalities are being forced to confront these impacts and react to them virtually all at once.

During this webinar we will explore how municipalities can use planning and policy tools to address major shocks to local food systems during emergencies such as pandemics and natural disasters. We will discuss how comprehensive plans and other local planning tools can prepare communities for these food access disruptions. We will also examine the policy actions that municipal policymakers can take to ensure their communities have adequate access to healthy food during emergencies and introduce the Healthy Food Policy Project’s Municipal COVID-19 Food Access Policy Index. Finally, we will invite attendees to share how they are using or are considering using planning and policy tools to address community food system issues in these pandemic times.

Archived Slides:

To view answers to many of the questions that we didn’t get to during the live webinar, please refer to this document: