Advancing Local Food Access

Grocery store produce aisle with lettuce, radishes and onions.

CDA is working to address food insecurity and support the development of local food networks by helping communities access fresh, healthy food from farms and ranches across Colorado.

The food system landscape has significantly changed, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID highlighted existing vulnerabilities in the food supply chain and disrupted production, distribution, and access to food, especially in low-income communities.

In response to these challenges, Colorado recognized the need for innovative solutions to ensure community food access and security. With the launch of the Community Food Access program in the Markets Division, CDA is working to increase the capacity of small farms to distribute food and help small grocers. Retailers absorb the costs of offering fresh, healthy food in their establishments. By focusing on increasing the capacity of both farmers and small retailers, the department aims to create more localized, resilient food systems. This program also helps farmers and retailers through grants and technical assistance.