American Farmland Trust identified and reviewed 134 food policy councils and food system plans to determine if they lead to state and local government actions to strengthen community food systems.
Despite the lack of staff and financial resources, some food policy councils have made significant policy advances especially at the municipal level. With greater resources, they likely would be more effective. Food system planning is such a new practice it is too early to measure its impacts, but the practice holds promise of improving both community food security and agricultural viability. In some places, food system planning and food policy councils were connected, which appears to be a promising approach.