What is a Community Food Charter?

A Community Food Charter (Food Charter) is a statement of community beliefs with a focus on food. It brings people together to talk about and work on local food projects. Charters can be used to present a vision that has been developed by the community. A growing number of communities in the U.S. and Canada have Food Charters.

Who developed the L­-A Community Food Charter?

The Food Charter was created by the Good Food Council of Lewiston­-Auburn (GFCLA). The GFCLA was formed in 2012 as an outcome of St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s five year research and outreach project that resulted in the publication of the Community Food Assessment.

Is the Good Food Council of L-A part of city government or another organization?

The GFCLA is an all-volunteer community­-based group of diverse community stakeholders. Staffing and some project work are funded by grants and donations.

Why was the Food Charter created?

The Food Charter was created as a tool to raise awareness of the importance of the local food system, to provide a framework for discussion by community members and decision makers, and to provide a consistent, focused approach over time. The Food Charter will be used to help inform new projects and move ideas forward aimed at creating better access to good and affordable food.

What is a food system?

A food system includes all processes and infrastructure involved in feeding a population: growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consumption, and disposal of food and food­-related items. It also includes the inputs needed and outputs generated at each of these steps. A food system operates within and is influenced by social, political, economic and environmental contexts. It also requires human resources that provide labor, research and education. Farmers, consumers and communities can partner to create a more locally based, self­-reliant food economy.

Where did the definition of good food come from?

The GFCLA put forth the Food Charter’s definition for good food when it published the 2013 Community Food Assessment. The definition for good food was initially developed with input from the community during the creation of the Community Food Assessment. The 2013 Community Food Assessment full report and Executive Summary can be downloaded here: goodfood4la.org/resources/communtity­food­assessment/

How can I support the Food Charter?

There are many ways! Some examples are:

  • ­  Sign the Food Charter on behalf of yourself and/or your business/organization (become a Food Charter Champion);
  • ­  Share the Food Charter with friends and colleagues and encourage them to sign it;
  • ­  Consider the Food Charter when making food decisions for yourself, your business/organization, or family;
  • ­  Ask questions about where your food comes from; care and build awareness;
  • ­  Donate to the GFCLA to help continue this work; and
  • ­  Participate in the GFCLA’s events; ask questions and share your thoughts.
Who can endorse the Food Charter?

The Food Charter can be signed and used by individuals, businesses, municipalities, organizations, and any person or group. The more the merrier!

Can I/my business/organization sign if I don’t live in Lewiston-­Auburn?


Is my signature public?

Yes! Signatories to the L­-A Community Food Charter will be proudly, publicly posted.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the L-­A Community Food Charter?

You can contact GFCLA at goodfood4la@gmail.com.

Where can I get more information and data about the food system in L-­A?

The Community Food Assessment is available online at: http://goodfoodcouncil.org/resources/communtity­food­assessment/and there are links to other informative resources on the Council’s website as well.

Where can I get a copy of the Food Charter to print and share?

Click here to download and print a PDF copy of the L-A Community Food Charter.