Tompkins County, New York

Tompkins CO, NY Center for Transformative ActionPopulation: 104,871
Project focus: Access to foods that support healthy eating patterns

View the project snapshot (PDF)

The Childhood Nutrition Collaborative, a project of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, with Cradle to Career, Tompkins County Health Department, Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, Cornell’s Master of Public Health Program, Ithaca City School District (Child Nutrition Program), Tompkins County Youth Services, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and Cayuga Health Partners, is a community initiative that ensures food security in Tompkins County

The partnership builds on a strong foundation of existing cross-sector work, engages new stakeholders from diverse fields, formalizes a shared leadership structure, and works with community residents to identify goals and strategies that will improve equity and access to food. This team has demonstrated a strong baseline for understanding the systems operating within their community and a clear vision for how their work can drive systemic change that will lead to lasting impact for the region. Their initiative’s focus is on building trust and transparency and will be monumental in changing perspectives to promote equity and access!


  • Depict, define, and critique (strengths and limitations) the current food system in Tompkins County to identify assets for and barriers to childhood food security, and to review the current approaches being used to improve food security
  • Formally align the CNC with other Tompkins County food systems initiatives to better inform change and influence sustainability through policy, systems and environmental change
  • Influence systems change that has the potential to increase food security for every young person pre-birth to age 24 in Tompkins County, with a focus on food sovereignty, people’s right to healthy and culturally appropriate food, produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems

Check out NACo's interviews with each of the the 10 county-based teams, including Tompkins County.