Executive Summary

The Atlanta Local Food Initiative envisions a transformed food system in which every Atlantan has access to safe, nutritious, and affordable food grown by a thriving network of sustainable farms and gardens. A greener Metro Atlanta that embraces a sustainable, local food system will enhance human health, promote environmental renewal, foster local economies, and link rural and urban communities.

Our city faces health and environmental challenges, including the obesity and diabetes epidemics and the contamination of soil, water, and air. Consumers are calling for clean food, grown without pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones. A local food system can meet this demand and rebuild Southern foodways in harmony with the land. Shortening the distance from farm to fork can reduce petroleum use, enhance safety through traceability, and provide fresher, healthier products. Also, a local system can address existing “food deserts,” areas where there is little or no fresh food available in under-served neighborhoods. Municipal food initiatives that encourage sustainably grown food improve urban livability, health, and wealth. Local food systems encompass activities such as: regional food distribution systems, community gardens, farmers’ markets, farm-to-school programs, urban agriculture, and green roof designs where food is grown on building rooftops. Developing a strong, local food system is an exciting opportunity for Metro Atlanta that has the potential to deliver a multitude of benefits:

• Promote healthy eating
• Reduce petroleum consumption
• Preserve greenspace and farmland
• Reduce harmful environmental impacts
• Minimize pesticide exposure
• Build local economies
• Create new jobs
• Strengthen the social fabric
• Celebrate our food heritage

Read the full ALFI PLAN