Rhode Island Community Food Security Assessment Request for Proposals

3 Mar
Information and Requirements

Objective: Southside Community Land Trust, on behalf of the Rhode Island Food Council Design Committee, is seeking proposals from qualified consultants to compile data and conduct a comprehensive analysis and assessment of the state of Rhode Island’s current food system, in the context of striving toward community food security. We believe Community Food Security exists when a vibrant and sustainable local food system provides community residents with equitable access to affordable, nutritious, healthy, safe, high- quality, culturally-appropriate food. Community Food Security thus exists when Rhode Island’s food system is synergistically increasing the health of the state’s economy, the health of the state’s ecology, and the health of all community residents.
Goals: A community food security assessment for Rhode Island will: (a) provide a baseline
assessment of the workings of the Rhode Island statewide food system as it exists today; (b) help
prioritize the work of the Rhode Island Food Council and other stakeholders who will be
involved in working to create community food security in the state, and (c) outline the economic,
social, and environmental impacts of a robust, community-based food system that increases
community food security in Rhode Island.

1. Summarize current food system in Rhode Island
a. Utilize existing data to analyze Rhode Island’s current level of community food
security in the following areas:
i. Production. Identify: 1) what is currently grown, raised, and harvested
within the state, including baseline data on current subsistence production
(home gardens, community gardens); 2) what are the current levels of food
imports/exports in the state.
ii. Processing and Distribution. Identify processing and distribution capacity
of state, as well as limitations in these areas.
iii. Consumption. Identify baseline data for direct (Farmers Markets, CSA,
Farms Stands), and indirect (grocers, restaurants, federal assistance
programs) consumer food sources, as well as home/community gardens.
iv. Nutrition and Health. Identify baseline data on how Rhode Islanders are
eating, and how the food they consume is affecting their health, with
special attention to low-income households and ethnic minorities. Compile
baseline data on the prevalence of diet-related diseases.
v. Food Waste. Identify baseline data on total amount of waste produced in
the state, amount of food donated versus discarded, and potential volume
of discarded food waste that would be compostable.
b. Estimate associated costs of food system being borne by the State (public costs
for treatment of food-related health conditions such as diabetes and obesity, as
well as for treatment of food-borne illnesses; environmental degradation caused
by the food system and its related costs, etc).
c. Analyze population demographics of RI eaters (urban and rural), focusing on food
access, distribution equity, and household income levels, with special attention to
low-income households and ethnic minorities.
d. Identify essential gaps in existing data, and develop simple strategies for
gathering data that would help fill these gaps.
2. Highlight current initiatives/existing community food resources in the state that are both
strengthening the local food system while working towards community food security
a. Create “snapshots” of different statewide initiatives or programs with potential for
expansion or to serve as replicable models within the state.
b. Identify obstacles/barriers these initiatives are facing with regard to their
continuation, expansion, and/or sustainability.
3. Generate projections for Rhode Island’s capacity to increase community food security
a. Estimate economic, social, and ecological impacts of a percentage shift in local
food, as well as cost-savings projections related to costs identified in 1b.
b. Assess potential for growth in: different scales of production (high-intensive,
subsistence production; production on small to medium farms; production on
medium to large farms), as well as wild-caught versus farmed seafood products.
c. Evaluate viability of RI-grown food products, including: vegetables, fruits, eggs,
dairy, meat, and seafood.

4. Provide recommendations for shifting the percentage of local food and increasing
community food security in Rhode Island
a. Identify leverage points for strengthening community food security in RI.
b. Recommend specific strategies and policies to remove or overcome
obstacles/barriers identified in 2b.
1. Written report outlining specific components identified under Activities (to be completed
by July 31, 2011).
2. In-person presentation outlining summary of findings for key stakeholders (date to be
3. On-going, monthly check-ins with Food Council Design Committee during Community
Food Assessment (dates to be determined).

Proposal Content and Evaluation Criteria

Please respond with the following:
• A letter (not to exceed 2 pages), outlining your interest in the Rhode Island Community
Food Security Assessment and outlining previous work experience with similar types of
• Evidence of past work with food assessments or community food security evaluations.
• 2-3 references.
• A proposal for a general work plan and preliminary budget for the project, given the
required Outputs and deadline. (The Food Council Design Committee has secured
funding for the Community Food Assessment, not to exceed $30,000).
Submit three (3) copies of complete proposal by 5 pm (EST), March 18, 2011 to:
Southside Community Land Trust
c/o Leo Pollock
109 Somerset Street
Providence, RI 02907

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