Collier County, Florida

Florida map showing Collier County, Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council

: 373,000
Project focus: Access to foods that support healthy eating patterns


  • Build engagement, support, and credibility of the Food Policy Council as an effective deliberative body
  • Develop a portfolio of policy and systems changes that ensure areas with high levels of health disparities have reliable access to affordable healthy food in their community
  • Strengthen communication and partnership across sectors to ensure a resilient food supply and reliable access to healthy, affordable food for everyone
  • Build a resilient supply chain for local growers of all scales to meet the needs of the hunger relief sector, community anchor institutions (schools, universities, etc.) and food retail providers

Approaches and Partners 
Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, in partnership with Blue Zones, Collier County Department of Health, Collier County Public Schools, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Florida Gulf Coast University, and University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Services Cooperative Extension Service and Family Nutrition Program, engaged community partners and residents to establish a food policy council. After months of discussion and collaboration, the Collier County Food Policy Council emerged as a critical structure for organizing community-based responses to multiple food system issues.

The council supported emergency food program efforts to procure and supply more healthy food choices from local sources, reduce food waste through statewide food recovery efforts, initiate farm-to-school initiatives, support farmers markets to accept nutrition benefits and develop a local food guide with information about nutrition. The council also encouraged advocacy from a wide range of community members, all the way from farmers to leaders in local government, in order to educate one another on sustainable food options in their area. 

Successes (as of September 2022) 
The Collier County Food Policy Council focused heavily on fostering communication and civic action at the grassroots. Partnerships with community organizations, such as Cultivate Abundance, gave residents the opportunity to engage and reflect the diverse interests and needs of their communities.  

The project team’s partnership with Harry Chapin Food Bank also helped facilitate a discussion on the implementation of an emergency and disaster relief plan for food acquisitions and distribution. The Disaster Relief Plan has helped build a resilient supply chain to meet the needs of the hunger relief sector, community anchor institutions, and food retail providers. We are so thrilled to see that the council’s goal to work with local residents and organizations to better facilitate a healthier environment for a historically disenfranchised community has started to be accomplished.

Snapshot 1 (July - December 2020) | Snapshot 2 (January - June 2021) | Snapshot 3 (July - December 2021)


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

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