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Tri-COG Food Ecosystem Economic Development Strategy (Tri-COG FEEDS)

Understanding & Creating Pathways to Build the Local Healthy Food Value Chain in the Triangle J, Kerr-Tar, and Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments’ Region

Goal: A regional food planning initiative to shorten supply chains, drive economic development, create quality jobs, enhance resilient practices, and foster equity in the greater region’s food system. Counties: Chatham, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Nash, Northampton, Orange, Person, Vance, Wake, Warren, and Wilson. 


  1. Collaboration: Build upon partnerships with community food system practitioners from each sector in the food system through more formal networks to increase connectivity between urban and rural regions while expanding on already existing work 
  2. Exploration and Modeling: Examine the current regional food system from food production to food waste and partner with food system practitioners across the region to develop models that identify & recommend needed food system infrastructure 
  3. Economic Impact Analysis: Identify the potential economic impacts from increasing food system connectivity (i.e. wealth generation, quality job creation)
  4. Policy Strategy: Inform decision makers on state and local policies that strengthen the regional food system with an emphasis on meeting the needs of, and creating opportunity for, small, beginning and historically disadvantaged farmers and food businesses

Opportunities for Participation and Collaboration Structure:
Food System Practitioners (individuals actively engaged in the food system from food production to waste) and Advisory Group Members will:

  • Express vision for the regional food system in the Tri-COG region, based on your first-hand experience
  • Provide guidance on food system needs, opportunities and feasibility of various food system development models
  • Collaborate with a diverse and impactful set of economic and community developers, planners, and food system specialists on a regional scale that include urban and rural perspectives


A 17-county strategy that outlines a unified vision while providing evidence that can be used by decision-makers and community partners to support further investment in the food system.

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To sign up click here: Tri-COG FEEDS Listserv

Project funded under the Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

Regional Healthy Food Access Mapping 
(Healthy FAM)

Tirence at KBR Meeting

In February 2020, UCPCOG kicked off the Healthy FAM project with partners from across the five-county region.   The primary goal: Empower the region to create new wealth and improved health through understanding and growing the local food system, and improve access for those who are underserved.

Healthy FAM creates deep transparency into the Upper Coastal Plain region's local, healthy food system. Over 40 stakeholder organizations engaged with 6 lead entities to gather unprecedented input from 400+ people.    Input was combined with data to analyze and assess the region's local healthy food system and make over 65 recommendations in the areas of Access, Community Development & Planning, Community Gardens & Land-use & Urban Agriculture, Farms, Finance, Institutional Purchasing, and more. 

Final Logo PNG
The project's web link below offers a Project Summary slide deck, a “deep dive” story board, the detailed Healthy FAM Assessment Report, an integrated GIS Food System Map, and more.  Work shows known assets in the region from fresh food growers, distributors, processors, outlets, business consumers and more.  Key health and economic information is also included. 

Information is intended to be leveraged by anyone wanting to further study, improve, and/or develop the local, healthy food system in an equitable and sustainable way. 
Click here to view the project’s results.

The Healthy FAM Project was funded by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

hfam webpage static map

Visit our Resources Page for more information and for local food contacts.