Community Food System Plan

 The City of Rochester is developing its first ever Community Food System Plan. This effort seeks to better understand the local food system and food environment across city neighborhoods and develop recommendations to inform policies, partnerships, and initiatives to improve food access and food system health and resilience moving forward.

 The planning process includes information gathering, mapping and data analysis, community-based research, and significant public and stakeholder engagement. To sign up for updates about input opportunities, please sign up here!


Community Engagement

 Community engagement and community input are a vitally important part of the planning process. We will be gathering community input in a few different ways:

  • Interviews and focus groups with impacted populations and food system experts
  • An online community survey
  • Pop-up outreach events
  • Public meetings
  • Partnering with a Community Advisory Committee and the Rochester Food Policy Council


Stay tuned here for announcements about opportunities for you to provide input to Rochester’s first Community Food System Plan!

NEW –Our community survey is now live! CLICK HERE TO TAKE THAT SURVEY.

Note: Your input will help us better understand where and how different people across our community get their food, and what is important to them in making food choices. This information will be a huge help to better understand needs, gaps, and opportunities to improve Rochester’s food system. The survey is completely anonymous and can be completed in 10-15 minutes. Thank you so much for your time!

COMING UP – May 18th pop-up outreach at the Rochester Public Market. There is no better place to be on Saturdays in Rochester than the Rochester Public Market! Stop by between 8:30am and 2:30pm to talk with the planning team and share your thoughts.

Submit Photos for our Report/Plan 


Do you have a photo that you think tells a story about important people, places, or aspects of Rochester’s food system? If so, please let us know! We want to highlight photos from community members throughout our report. We will accept photos on a rolling basis through the summer, but would love to have at least some good photos in hand by June 15.

PLEASE CLICK HERE to submit high-quality and high-resolution photos of the Rochester food system in action! 

Community Advisory Committee

 The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is a multidisciplinary group of City staff and community members with a wide range of perspectives, knowledge bases, and experiences across the local food system that will inform Community Food System Plan development. Members of the CAC are:

  • Shalini Beath, City of Rochester Sustainability Office
  • John Brach, City of Rochester Mayor’s Office
  • Michael Bulger, Common Ground Health and Rochester Food Policy Council
  • Rhonda Destino, The Commissary
  • Melissa Dillon, Tops Friendly Markets
  • Jim Farr, City of Rochester Public Market
  • Jackie Farrell, Westside Farmers Market
  • Erik Frisch, City of Rochester Department of Neighborhood and Business Development
  • Chris Hartman, Headwater Food Hub
  • Michael Henry, Rochester Food Policy Council
  • Kevin Kelley, City of Rochester City Planning Office
  • Leslie Knox, Friends of the Rochester Public Market
  • Josie McClary, 19th Ward Community Association and Rochester Food Policy Council
  • Nathaniel Mich, Taproot Collective and Rochester Food Policy Council
  • Elizabeth Henderson, Peacework Farm and Rochester Food Policy Council
  • Denise Read, Monroe County Department of Human Services
  • Liliana Ruiz, City of Rochester Mayor’s Office
  • Jacob Scott, Rochester City School District
  • Sara Scott, City of Rochester Recreation and Parks Stewardship
  • Ashley Smith, Mona Street Community Garden and Rochester Food Policy Council
  • Julia Tedesco, Foodlink and Rochester Food Policy Council
  • Paul Whitehouse, Beechwood Community Garden and Rochester Food Policy Council



Rochester Food Policy Council

 The Rochester Food Policy Council (FPC) is a resident-driven collaboration that convenes community members and stakeholders to develop policy solutions, grow partnerships, and support projects that improve the local food system. The Rochester FPC is dedicated to fostering a food system that supports the health of the environment, where every resident has equitable access to high quality foods that support their health and opportunities to participate in a vibrant local food economy. The Rochester FPC is composed of 10 resident members who reflect the diversity of the City of Rochester community, and three administrative members – one each from Foodlink, Common Ground Health, and the City – who provide staff, operations, and fundraising support.

 The Rochester FPC is a key partner in developing Rochester’s first Community Food System Plan! To learn more about the FPC, please visit their website.


Plan Documents

 Stay tuned for draft and final documents below as they become available.

For More Information

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact one of the City staff leading this effort:

Elizabeth Murphy, Director of Policy & Strategic initiatives
(585) 428-6813

Brent Irving, Senior City Planner
(585) 428-7253





Equity | Public Market