Area(s) of Expertise
- Local Food Systems
- Community Food Security and Food Access
- Value Chains and Supply Chain Governance
Dara Bloom is an associate professor and Local Foods Extension Specialist at NC State University. She is also Director of Community Based Food Systems for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). Dara was inspired by her time doing community gardening on the US/Mexican border to learn about the structure and policies of the larger agri-food system, as well as how community-based projects can enhance local food security. Dara earned her degree in Rural Sociology at Penn State University, with a focus on the Sociology of Agriculture and Food Systems. Her previous research has revolved around the challenges and opportunities of “scaling up” local food systems, including the interactions between social, environmental, and economic values as alternative movements are incorporated into conventional systems. Her current work includes providing training to Cooperative Extension agents about developing community-based local food projects that integrate low-resource consumers. She is also involved with several research projects that explore how to strengthen immigrant/refugee communities’ capacity to participate in local food production and preparation; how to connect food pantries with local food sources; how to build relationships between local farmers and childcare centers; and how to understand farmer motivations for selling to low-resource consumers.
Programs and Initiatives
- Extension Master Food Volunteer Program
- Local Food Online Course
- Farm to Early Care and Education
- Working with immigrant/refugee communities on self-directed local foods projects
- Bloom, J. D., Hardison-Moody, A., & Schulman, M. (2018). Bonding and bridging: Leveraging immigrant and refugee community assets to support healthy eating. Community Development, 1–20.
- Bloom, J. D., Lelekacs, J. M., Dunning, R., Piner, A., & Brinkmeyer, E. (2017). Local Food Systems Course for Extension Educators in North Carolina: Summary of an Innovative Program. Journal of Extension,55(4). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/2017august/iw2.php
- Bloom, J.D., Hinrichs, C.C. (2017). The Long Reach of Lean Retailing: Firm Embeddedness and Wal-Mart’s Implementation of Local Produce Sourcing in the US. Environment and Planning A. 49(1), 168-185.
- Bloom, J.D., Gamble, E. (2017) Farm to Food Bank Resource Guide for North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Raleigh, NC: NC Cooperative Extension. https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/farm-to-food-bank-resource-guide
- Bloom J.D., Alford, Z., Mansure, M. (2017). Best Practices for Integrating Local Food into Nutrition Education and Cooking Classes. Raleigh, NC: NC Cooperative Extension. https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/best-practices-for-utilizing-local-food-in-nutrition-education-and-cooking-classes
- Bloom, J. Dara and Lelekacs, Joanna M. 2014. Eat Local. Eat Healthy. Local foods program brochure.
- Bloom, J. Dara. Standards for Development: Food Safety and Sustainability in Wal-Mart’s Honduran Produce Supply Chains. Rural Sociology, 80(2), 198–227.
- Bloom, J. Dara (2014). Civil Society in Hybrid Governance: Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Legitimacy in Mediating Wal-Mart’s Local Produce Supply Chains in Honduras. Sustainability, 6(10), 7388–7411.
- Dunning, R., Bloom, J. D., & Creamer, N. (2015). The local food movement, public-private partnerships, and food system resiliency. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 1–10.