Holyoke’s Food System
Holyoke, Massachusetts, sits in the middle of the Pioneer Valley, an agriculturally rich region of the Commonwealth. Despite the regional context, farms are few in the City, and the social and economic impacts of deindustrialization have created barriers for residents attempting to access local, healthy food. In light of these challenges, community members have organized for decades to create a living legacy of community gardens. The work of community organizations has been catalogued and reported extensively, with great attention given to the social infrastructure. To complement that work, the City has requested information and analysis about the physical infrastructure needed to improve the local food system. A Spatial Analysis Supporting Holyoke’s Food System is a resource to support the City and its newly formed Holyoke Food and Equity Coalition in their efforts to increase the Holyoke food system’s resilience, improve healthy food access for residents, and increase opportunities for food-related jobs in the community. Based on analyses of environmental and social conditions in the city, this planning document presents possible locations for increasing food production within the city, shows the overlapping physical barriers to food for the most vulnerable residents, identifies the potential for composting in the food waste sector, and recommends steps the City can take to create a more resilient and equitable food system.
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