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The Food System Resilience Poll (October 2021)

Through the lens of our farm to fork brand and knowing that we face real challenges, this Food System Resilience Poll sets out to explore people’s perceptions around our food system and the connections between food, farm, and community. It also seeks to understand the ways in which the pandemic affected access to food, knowing that millions of people in our country already struggled with getting enough food even before the pandemic. With all the food and agricultural assets that we have, do the lived experiences of our region’s residents reflect our vision for what a farm to fork region should be?

The Poll, which was fielded by Valley Vision and CapRadio, in partnership with the Institute for Social Research at Sacramento State, is designed to help inform system work to build an equitable and accessible farm to fork culture that resonates and benefits all communities. The results helped inform the Sacramento Region Community Foundation’s 2021 Food System Action Plan, a robust set of strategies and tactics to guide industry leaders, policy makers, universities, and community groups toward actions that achieve more inclusive, supported, sustainable, and equitable food system practices (expected to be released in October 2021).

Some of the Poll’s most notable findings are: 

  • Self-reported food insecurity was higher in the Farm to Fork Capital than the U.S. average overall and disparities in access exist along racial and economic lines. Key supports, such as federal stimulus checks during the pandemic, provided important means of increasing food security during a hard time.
  • Even though they live in the Farm to Fork Capital, many residents in the region have not had opportunities to grow their own food or participate in local food and agriculture activities. 
  • About half of respondents have knowingly purchased local food, grown within 100 miles of home, however this practice is more likely among white, older, and higher income respondents. 
  • Respondents highly value wild, open lands and farmland, and enjoy living in an area with farms and agriculture.
  • Overall, the Farm to Fork brand is a popular one, however Latino respondents as well as those who live in cities were less enthusiastic.  
  • About half of respondents admit to regularly throwing out food, however, the same amount support paying a fee of at least $5 a month in their utility bill to support food recovery programs that could reduce food waste and hunger.
  • The vast majority of respondents are concerned that climate change poses a real risk to growing food in our region.

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