ABOUT THE PLAN
The Rhode Island Food Strategy envisions a sustainable, equitable food system that is uniquely Rhode Island; one that builds on our traditions, strengths, and history while encouraging innovation and supporting the regional goal of 50 percent of the food eaten in New England be produced in the region by 2060.
WHAT is Relish Rhody?
Relish Rhody is a State-led, interagency strategy to improve the food system in Rhode Island. The Strategy is informed by a robust network of partners across business, government, and community who are engaged in and energized by this effort. Designed to be an action plan, the Strategy takes a holistic view of the state’s food system recognizing the economic impact, cultural importance, public health and environmental necessity of a thriving food system.
In 2016, concerted efforts were made under former Governor Gina Raimondo's leadership to establish a statewide food strategy and hire the state’s first ever Director of Food Strategy to lead the initiative. By 2017 a five-year plan was launched charting a path for a more resilient, sustainable and equitable local food system. The State Food Strategy Relish Rhody set bold goals to: 1) Preserve & Grow Agriculture, Fisheries Industries in Rhode Island, 2) Enhance the Climate for Food & Beverage Businesses, 3) Sustain & Create Markets for Rhode Island Food, Beverage Products 4) Ensure Food Security for All Rhode Islanders, and 5) Minimize Food Waste & Divert it from the Waste Stream.
WHY A FOOD STRATEGY?
State level food visions have become an important part of development and growth in the United States over the last two decades. Charters, strategic documents and food action plans began to launch starting in 2005 and many have since been published. As of 2021, 17 states have active plans while 6 plans were in development. Food Plans help to:
- Identify common goals and connects partners for collective impact
- Establish shared metrics for strategic action and greater impact
- Inform policymakers of statewide and local priorities
- Catalyze collective action across the food system
RI FOOD SYSTEMS PLANNING FOR 2030 IN PROGRESS!
Significant progress has been made towards the objectives outlined in Relish Rhody, however, there has been considerable change to the food system landscape since 2017. Director of Food Strategy, Juli Stelmaszyk, announced plans for renewing the State's food systems strategy in January 2023 at the University of Rhode Island's annual Food Systems Summit. Read more about the RI Food Systems Planning for 2030 efforts.