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Fair Food for Durham: Planning for Equitable Development Through Food

This project culminated in a report and an analysis of barriers and opportunities for moving towards Equitable Food Oriented Development in Durham. It addresses the landscape of inequity faced by aspiring food entrepreneurs of color, describes the philosophical approach of EFOD, highlighting the infrastructure needs of financial support and technical assistance. The report looks at existing models of financial instruments currently being used to fund EFOD, as well as programmatic approaches being used to provide technical assistance. The report concludes with a recommendation for incorporating EFOD infrastructure into Built2Last for Durham.

Project Outputs

Lianna Gomori-Ruben produced this concept paper on Leveraging the Food Economy for a More Equitable Durham in May 2020.

Executive Summary: Durham, North Carolina is a diverse and growing city with great resources. Its growth, however, is imbalanced: 16% of city residents live in poverty, and people of color are disproportionately represented in this group. The racial wealth gap in Durham is consistent with national statistics and emerges from centuries of policies and practices impacted by systemic racism. Unless strategic action is taken, the racial wealth gap will continue to perpetuate and compound into the future. The City of Durham has an opportunity to build the infrastructure for a future in which every resident can thrive. To that end, the City is planning for economic development that targets equity and racial justice. To expand the impact of existing plans, some programming should focus on food. Equitably developing businesses along the food chain will improve outcomes in food security, nutrition, cultural place-making, and employment. Programs to implement equitable food-oriented development must strategically provide access to capital and technical assistance. By incorporating food systems into existing development plans, Durham can better access the abundance of potential that lies within its underserved communities.



Duke World Food Policy Center

  • Jen Zuckerman
  • Gizem Templeton
  • Lianna Gomori-Ruben