This study aims to identify factors that may be associated with organization-level food system resilience, how these factors may play out in disaster response, and how they may relate to organizations’ confidence in their ability to withstand disruptive events. The research focuses on the city of Baltimore, Maryland, which is developing policies to improve local food system organizations’ ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disruptive events and ultimately to contribute to food system resilience.
This study identified 10 factors that may contribute to organization-level resilience: formal emergency planning; staff training; staff attendance; redundancy of food supply, food suppliers, infrastructure, location, and service providers; insurance; and post-event learning. Organizations that were larger, better resourced, and affiliated with national or government partners typically demonstrated more resilience factors compared with smaller, independent, and nonprofit organizations.
To ensure reliable access to safe food for all people, food system organizations must strengthen their operations to safeguard against a variety of potential threats. This study’s examination of factors that contribute to resilience can help food system organizations, researchers, and government officials identify priorities for investigating vulnerabilities in diverse operations and potential strategies to improve resilience in the face of ongoing and growing threats.