Community Food Assessment Toolkits


As you’re preparing to conduct a community food assessment, you don’t need to start from scratch. Below are some tools that organizations have created to help you throughout the process. There are also a wide variety of completed CFA reports in the case studies section and online to help you decide which tools are best for your community.


Community Food Security Assessment Toolkit
Barbara Cohen, USDA Economic Research Service, 2002
Designed for use by community-based nonprofit organizations and business groups, local government officials, private citizens, and community planners, this report provides a toolkit of standardized measurement tools for assessing various aspects of community food security. Helpful templates and guides are included for gathering information about general community characteristics and community food resources as well as materials for assessing household food security, food resource accessibility, food availability and affordability, and community food production resources. Data collection tools include secondary data sources, focus group guides, and a food store survey instrument.


Whole Measures for Community Food Systems
Jeanette Abi-Nader, Adrian Ayson, Keecha Harris, Hank Herrera, Darcel Eddins, Deb Habib, Jim Hanna, Chris Paterson, Karl Sutton, and Lydia Villanueva. Center for Whole Communities, 2009
This is an excellent working document to accompany a community food assessment planning process. A practical framework for community food projects to talk about how their work affects whole communities, it includes a set of six core fields of value-based practices against which projects can measure the impact of their work including: justice and fairness; strong communities, vibrant farms, healthy people, sustainable ecosystems and thriving local economies.

  • To see how communities and organizations have worked with the Whole Measures CFS tool for project planning, evaluation and more (and to get inspired!), see Stories from the Field gathered by the Community Food Security Coalition


Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool
Alicia Bell-Sheeter, Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative, First Nations Development Institute, 2004
Food sovereignty assessments are one strategy that can be used to help reclaim local food systems and especially to help revitalize traditions associated with native agriculture and food systems. These tools offer guided questions and provide reflection exercises that will assist in identifying barriers and opportunities in the areas of health, economic development, and cultural revitalization as they relate to food, agriculture and community sovereignty.


Participation in Appraisal Training Modules
Phil Bartle, PhD, Community Empowerment Collective
These modules are relevant for the community worker in the field, as well as to their trainers, coordinators, managers and supervisors. The goal is to stimulate the community to participate in making a village or neighborhood appraisal survey: a map and an inventory of needs, resources, assets and liabilities. The materials are translated into more than 20 languages.


School Community Food Assessment
FamilyCook Productions, 2006
Directed toward educators, this step-by-step toolkit includes letter templates and meeting guides to achieve consensus among school staff, students and parents for healthy food and beverages at school.


Updated 12/2013