Land Use


Regional Food System Plan


Virtual Kick-Off Meetings

Two virtual public meetings were held on August 24th, 2021 and August 25th, 2021 that provided an opportunity to learn about the Region’s food system and comment on the contents of the plan.   

8/24/2021: Presentation
8/25/2021: Presentation
8/24/2021: Meeting Recording
8/25/2021: Meeting Recording


The Plan

This Plan will address the food system from a regional planning perspective and is aimed at identifying how to achieve several objectives concerned with ensuring accessible and affordable healthy and fresh food options for all residents, reducing economic and health disparities, supporting locally owned and sustainable farming operations, and preserving productive agricultural land and sensitive natural resources.

Key objectives of the plan include:

  • Connecting the existing stakeholders throughout the Region
  • Providing readily accessible and affordable fresh food options
  • Reducing economic and health disparities
  • Improving and expanding transportation options
  • Supporting locally owned and sustainable farming operations
  • Continuing stewardship of productive agricultural land and sensitive natural resources
  • Increasing educational efforts and food literacy

The Regional Food System

Everyone needs to eat to survive; however, our food system is mostly disconnected from the public eye. The food system is a complex web of activities, processes, and actors involved in the production, processing, aggregation, distribution, transport, consumption, and disposal of food products. A sustainable food system supplies food security and adequate nutrition for all in a way that protects economic, social, and environmental interests for future generations. The figure below provides a visual of our food system, from food being grown on farms to consumer waste.

Click image for larger view



This Plan will be developed with equity and inclusion as guiding principles so that all residents of the Region can access healthy, fresh, and desirable food. There is compelling evidence of disparities in the Region, between the white population and people of color, in income, educational attainment, poverty rates, and health outcomes. When looking at mapping compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2019, several areas within the Region were identified as low-income and low-access food deserts—areas where a significant portion of residents do not have access to a supermarket or grocery store within a mile in urban areas and 10 miles in rural areas. These areas are located primarily in the Cities of Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, and Waukesha. The areas identified as low-income and low-access food deserts in these cities increase substantially when looking at a half-mile distance, or incorporating lack of access to a private vehicle, particularly in Milwaukee. These areas also tend to overlap with communities of color in the Region.

Click image for larger view


Draft Plan Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction 

Chapter 2: The Food System

Chapter 3: Consumers - Coming Soon

Chapter 3 is currently being drafted and will be available with information related to: 

  • Population
  • Economy
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Food Literacy & Education
  • Food Security & Food Access (Including Mapping of Food Establishments)


Contact Information

Benjamin McKay, AICP
Deputy Director


Miranda Page
Land Use Planner



Use the comment box below to submit comments you may have about the Regional Food System Plan at any time during the planning process.

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Contact Us

Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

W239 N1812 Rockwood Drive
P.O. Box 1607
Waukesha, WI 53187-1607

Monday - Thursday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Global Water Center
247 Freshwater Way
Milwaukee, WI 53204

By Appointment


Phone: (262) 547-6721


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