A central element of this research is the identification and removal (through Extension activities) of policy barriers in the most vulnerable communities in the United States, or Communities of Opportunity.
Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, Growing Food Connections identified and ranked all urban and rural counties with the greatest proportion of food insecure people and where farmers are the least connected to the local market. Using these and other indicators (e.g. total population size), Growing Food Connections identified 100 sites as Communities of Opportunity. In consultation with the National Advisory Committee, GFC selected 8 sites for in-depth case study research of policy barriers faced by underserved residents and farmers. This information informs Planning & Policy activities.