Institute for Community Research
Youth Food Program Alliance

Youth Food Program Alliance

Young leaders

After years of building partnerships, capacity, and opportunities within and between programs across CT, the Youth Food Program Alliance is gaining ground in their efforts to increase justice in the state’s food systems. Through the work done within this coalition, young leaders have connected their agricultural and culinary work to critical comprehension of the food system and social change efforts. They have presented at regional food and farming events, and are changing the discussion about what it means to have a “good school lunch”.

The Alliance is expanding their focus to take more tangible steps toward addressing what is meant by the term “food justice”. Young leaders are identifying needs in their communities and planning how to meet them with assets they may not have considered before. They are building their own professional skills and connections to increase their options for employment in a rapidly changing workforce. By improving connections within and between their communities, these young leaders are forging new plans to improve CT’s food system for everyone.

Incorporating Climate Smart Agricultural Practices into the urban growing work they are already doing has served as a key step toward increasing youth and community engagement in shifting the food system since its collapse during the Coronavirus pandemic. Young people across CT have been learning about soil health, irrigation practices, pest management, and food preservation as a part of their work to shrink our food’s carbon footprint, and to bring their community closer together around the shared table, even when we have to be socially distant. Thanks to funding through the NRCS and wisdom shared from local CT Conservation District Offices, teens in CT can see the work they are doing to both adapt to our changing climate and to reduce our contributions to those changes.

Members of the Alliance

Common Ground High School

Ebony Horsewomen

GroundWork Bridgeport

GROW Windham


Huneebee Project

Lauren Little Edutainment

Middletown High School Vo-ag Program
Middletown Ag Science Program

New Britain ROOTS

Nonprofit Accountability Group

Nourish My Soul

Solar Youth

Summer of Solutions



2024 Society for Applied Anthropology presentation can be found here, soon!

2023 Justice of Place Conference presentation can be found here.

2019 Society for Applied Anthropology presentation can be found here.

National Institute for Food and Agriculture Joint Summer Session presentation can be found here.