Background and Mission

Established in 1978, Hartford Food System is a private, non-profit organization working to create an equitable and sustainable food system that addresses the underlying causes of hunger and poor nutrition facing low and moderate-income Hartford residents. For more than 30 years, Hartford Food System has developed dozens of projects, initiatives, and coalitions that tackle a wide range of food cost, access, and nutrition issues. In more recent years, Hartf
ord Food System has extended its reach to develop food projects and to provide information and technical assistance throughout Connecticut as well as to communities across the country. Our work includes active participation in a number ofpublic policy initiatives at the local, state, and regional levels that affect community-based food systems.

Hartford Food System relies on a collaborative approach, engaging the talents of farmers, government policy makers, local non-profit organizations, local communities and neighborhoods, chefs, educators, and the commercial food sector. Hartford Food System directs its efforts at four major food system components: production, distribution, education, and public policy.

Mission Statement

Hartford Food System’s mission is to fight hunger and improve nutrition in our community. The goal is for our community to have a healthy, culturally-responsive, resilient and sustainable food system that meets the needs of all community members. To do this, we implement programs that improve access to nutritious and affordable food, we help consumers make informed food choices, we advocate for a robust and economically sound food system, and we promote responsible food policies at all levels of government.

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Vision Statement

Few things are more fundamental to the well-being of Hartford residents than healthy food.  As a matter of principle and justice, we believe that all people have the right to safe, nutritious and affordable food.  We also regard those who grow and distribute food as having a special role in our society, and seek to deepen the connection between urban food consumers and the sources of food production.

We believe that long-term solutions to Hartford’s food problems can only be found by addressing the root causes of hunger and poor nutrition.  These solutions will require working in partnership with those who experience food insecurity, i.e., not always being able to acquire quality foods due to limited access or uncertain resources.  We do this work in partnership with public officials, farmers and producers, nonprofit allies, business leaders in the local food economy, and other people of good will.  Together, we can build a more equitable and just food supply.

In carrying out our goals Hartford Food System commits itself:

  • To be deeply engaged in identifying the food problems affecting Hartford-area residents and the solutions to those problems.
  • To be known as one of the most creative and competent non-profit food security organizations in the country, committed to developing talent and passion for the field through internships and volunteer opportunities.
  • To work in partnership with individuals and organizations in the community to achieve constituent-responsive and comprehensive answers to food system issues.
  • To use best practices and research findings that will provide guidance for effective program and policy efforts.
  • To rise to new challenges, recognizing that uncertainty often breeds innovation and creativity; we are willing to chart new directions to achieve a healthy community food system.