Food System Plan

City of Kingston

Kingston, NY


Listed below are estimated dates and times of actions related to this RFP. It is anticipated that the project term will be at minimum seven (7) months long. A longer award term not to extend past 12 months shall be considered with sufficient justification from the Consultant.

RFP advertised — June 5, 2023

Last day to submit written inquiries — June 20, 2023, 10am

Addendum issued if any questions — June 26, 2023

Due Date for Proposals — July 5, 2023, 2pm

Selection Committee evaluates proposals — Week of July 10, 2023

Possible Interviews — Week of July 17, 2023

Notice of Intent to Award — August 1, 2023

Contract Start Date — August 15, 2023

Estimated Contract End Date — March 2024

The dates shown above may be subject to change within the City of Kingston's sole discretion and upon written notification as set forth herein.


The City's Department of Health & Wellness seeks a consultant to develop a Food System Plan (the "Plan") that will help to strengthen our local food system by improving resilience, addressing food insecurity, and increasing access to nutritionally dense foods.

Professional services are needed to conduct research and mapping/data analysis; gather widespread community and stakeholder input; develop a comprehensive baseline inventory/assessment of the food environment and food flows across the City, inclusive of the emergency feeding system; identify resources and unmet needs; and develop recommendations, planning, policy, partnerships, and initiatives related to improving healthy food access and resilience. The Consultant should also have experience with successfully engaging a wide variety of community members, food system actors, and other stakeholders in the development of food system plans.

The Plan should consider the specific organizational structures as well as roles and responsibilities of the existing public entities in Kingston and the Hudson Valley. There have been numerous projects already completed that look at our regional food system (see Appendix A). The Plan should be informed by, but not duplicative of, these reports. The Plan should provide a blueprint for how the City of Kingston can support strengthening our local food system to improve food security, through actions specific to the municipality and/or through collaborative action with its local community partners.

The Plan should consider the following questions:

The Plan should both explicitly address the following questions and should use them as a lens through which to view all research and recommendations.

  1. What are the recommended roles of the key players and stakeholders in helping to advance food system change and long-term community wellness, including but not limited to the City of Kingston municipal government, Ulster County government, and local community-based organizations?
  2. How can the City, in particular the City's Department of Health and Wellness, support complementary health planning and policymaking?
  3. What are the recommended priorities and activities the City of Kingston should take to strengthen our food system, either on its own or through collaborative effort with its partners?

The following questions should be addressed in the plan within the context of the questions above.

  1. How does the City of Kingston's food system play into the larger county/regional food system?
  2. What is the strength of our current food system? Where are the opportunities to strengthen our food system?
  3. Taking an assets-based approach, what are the resources that our food system is strong in? Which ones have the opportunity for developing further, replicating, and/or amplifying?
  4. How equitable is our food system? How can we improve equity in our food system? Other related questions might include:
    1. How can we strengthen our food system to help increase food security?
    2. How can we strengthen our food system to support increased accessibility of nutritionally dense foods?
    3. How can we strengthen our food system to support increased health?


The Plan should take into consideration and/or align with existing related plans and resources. It should not be duplicative or redundant of work already done. See Appendix A for a non-exhaustive list of local resources.


The successful Consultant will provide Food System Plan consulting services for elements that will include but not be limited to:

  • Compliance with the applicable provisions of General Municipal Law;
  • Coordinating participation and soliciting comments from City of Kingston personnel;
  • Ensuring that comments received from the City are satisfactorily addressed and reflected in subsequent work;
  • Ensuring the objectives are achieved;
  • Being responsible for submission of all products and payment requests


The City of Kingston is seeking the assistance of a Consultant to do the following, at a minimum, with suggestions of additional elements welcomed:

  1. Task 1: Complete a data and food flow analysis of the City of Kingston's current food system, with particular focus on food provision and access for low-income and/or food insecure households. The main focus should be the City of Kingston, but should take into context the City's place within the regional food system as well (i.e. Kingston City School District, Ulster County, and/or Hudson Valley). The analyses should draw on quantitative data from a variety of sources and explore elements like retail availability/sales, food distribution/cost/transportation, consumer choices/preferences/behavior, eligibility/utilization/impact of large-scale food access resources like SNAP, WIC, school meals, summer meals, etc.
    1. Required Deliverable: Data and Food Flow Analysis and Report
    2. Optional Deliverable: Consider the development of an online mapping tool and/or StoryMap with relevant data and comprehensive baseline inventory of Kingston's food system/environment that can be easily updated/maintained going forward.
  2. Task 2: Conduct significant community and stakeholder outreach, particularly to reach impacted but under-represented populations, utilizing the capacities of, as well as key agencies and organizations working, including:
    1. Live Well Kingston Commission and its focus teams
    2. Public Advisory Committee, that will meet at least two times throughout the project
    3. Community survey to understand current food access behaviors, issues, and priorities
    4. A mix of interviews and/or focus groups to delve deeper into specific topics or populations, or other suggested conversational, qualitative approach
    5. Activities to support participation by under-represented populations, to be determined
    6. Any other suggested outreach – a combination of meetings (online and/or in-person), pop-up outreach, etc.
    7. Required Deliverable: Community and Stakeholder Outreach Plan & Report
  3. Task 3: Conduct an Inventory of City of Kingston policies and programs that explicitly relate to food system planning and/or food provision/access. Provide advice on how to improve implementation/impact of existing policies/programs along with recommendations on new policies to consider.
    1. Required Deliverable: Policy/Program Inventory Report and Recommendations
    2. Optional Deliverable: Consider the development of an easy to read and understand tracking tool of policies and programs with comprehensive baseline information that can be easily updated/maintained.
  4. Task 4: Develop a Food Systems Plan that addresses the previously listed questions under "Project Description." Plan should also include:
    1. Data analysis and mapping that identifies both strengths and priority improvement areas for the City to focus efforts and partnerships, along with recommended actions and metrics to monitor (See Appendix B: Consider the City of Asheville's 2017 Food Policy Goals and Action Plan as one possible example or the Niagara Falls Local Food Action Plan as an example of Proposed Actions combined with Promising Practices).
    2. A user-friendly, visually engaging, and easy-to-read final report with relevant data, mapping, analyses, recommendations, and/or web-based tools (See Appendix B: Consider the Capital Roots Greater Capital Region Food System Assessment as an example).
    3. Required Deliverable: Comprehensive Food Systems Plan with short-term, medium-term, and long-term recommendations for actions by the City of Kingston municipal government along with actions taken through collaborations with community partners. The Plan should also be developed in a manner that prioritizes accessibility: it should be easy to read and understand for all members of the community.

Addendum No. 1
June 21, 2023

This addendum describes additions, revisions, corrections, and clarifications to RFP # K23-19 as well as answers to questions submitted by potential Respondents.

In the RFP response, the Respondent is to acknowledge receipt of each numbered addenda. This is Addendum No. 1.

Timeline Update

The anticipated updated timeline for interviews will be July 24-26, 2023. These dates are subject to change as necessary at the City of Kingston's discretion.

Questions and Answers

Q1. Is there an expected budget cap or estimated budget?

Qa.We are not listing a budget amount because we would like the Respondents to share what their recommended scope is to meet the City's goals and requirements as outlined in the RFP, along with associated costs. If a Respondent submits a great proposal that is outside of what we can currently fund, we will work with that team directly to negotiate and come to an agreed budget and scope that can work for both parties. This is why we have required an itemized budget as a part of the proposal requirements.

Q2. Is there an external budget for engagement expenses such as translation, incentives, food for in-person meetings, etc?

Qa.The budget should include all anticipated expenses. There may be additional funds to support engagement expenses through other grants in the Department of Health and Wellness, but any decision and approval to utilize these funds will come later and should not be planned for in the proposed budget.

Q3. In the budget, can optional deliverables be listed at a separate cost?


Q4. In the budget, is an administrative fee on the direct expenses allowable?


Q5. Does the proposer need to understand the City of Kingston's individual food system?

Qa.The proposer should be context-sensitive in their approach and inclusive of the resources shared in the RFP, at minimum. As a part of their proposal, they should submit their presence in Kingston as requested under "Proposal Content" on page 10 of the RFP.

Q6. Who is the project team overseeing and supporting the work of the consultant? Will there be a designated person that will be a liaison for identification of existing food-related city policies and programs?

Qa.This project will be managed by the City of Kingston's Department of Health and Wellness as listed under "The Term and Funding Available" on page 11. The designated project manager will be the liaison. Engagement with other City departments, as needed, is anticipated.

Q7. Can you confirm that submission must be via the process outlined on p.10 "Submittal Checklist" and not solely through email?

Qa.Please submit the proposal via the process indicated on page 11 of the RFP.

Q8. Will a digital format of the final deliverables and food system plan be sufficient or do we need to provide printed copies?

Qa.A digital form is sufficient.

Q9. Who will be the audience and implementers of the final plan?

Qa.The Plan will primarily be used by the City of Kingston and its community partners to implement the recommended activities and policies. However, the plan will be a public document and should be developed and written in a way that is accessible for the public to read and engage with. Please review Task 4, Required Deliverable (C) for further details.

Q10. Can you share any more details regarding the Public Advisory Committee (number and type of members, tasked authority, etc)?

Qa.The Public Advisory Committee will be formed once the project starts. Their role will be to provide feedback and support limited to the scope of this project. City Staff will identify the participants.

Q11. Can you elaborate on community and stakeholder outreach as listed under Task 2?

Qa.We would like to hear from the Respondents what their recommended approach to community engagement is based upon their experience, the availability of information in the local/regional plans shared, and the recommended activities listed. We anticipate there will be both in-person as well as virtual activities involved. There will be some, but limited availability for in-person support from the project manager. These activities should be itemized in the budget should we need to negotiate based upon the budget available.

Q12. Is the plan/this scope of work solely funded by American Rescue Plan Act funds?

Qa.Yes, the American Rescue Plan Act is the sole funder.

Q13. In terms of the final deliverable, what is the level of detail expected? Is there an example that most closely aligns with what the City of Kingston is looking for?

Qa.Please refer to the resources shared in Appendix A and B, and linked under the Project Description, for further details.

Q14. Given the holiday weekend and the date that you will be providing answers to the questions posed by potential respondents, could you please consider an extension to the due date for the proposal submission to the middle/end of July?

Qa.The timeline for submission of proposals is set and cannot be adjusted.

Q15. The deliverables required for this bid will necessitate for us an implementation period of one year, given the coordination logistics needed with our consultant partner. Will this adversely affect our application?

Qa.While the minimum term period is 7 months, proposals with a timeline up to 12 months with sufficient justification from the Respondent will be accepted without adversely affecting the proposal.

Q16. Our firm is relatively new, meaning we have little or no published works relevant to this RFP. However, our individual team members have research and publications that are relevant to this work - could these suffice as relevant work for this proposal?

Qa.You may submit examples of prior work relevant to the RFP completed by any individual who will work on this project, and organizations or companies that you choose to subcontract with to strengthen your proposal.

Q17. Do you have a sense of the communities you are looking to engage with?

Qa. This plan should benefit everyone in Kingston, so community engagement should be diverse and inclusive of communities typically underrepresented. The Respondents and the City will work together to ensure that all communities are represented in any community engagement plan. Additionally, because one of the project goals is to create a plan that increases food security, communities experiencing or at risk of experiencing food insecurity should be prioritized.

Q18. What do you see as the outcomes after this plan is completed?

Qa. This plan will serve as a roadmap for future policy recommendations and programmatic activities that the City of Kingston, its Department of Health and Wellness, and/or its community partners can implement to strengthen the local food system. As such, the primary outcomes of the plan are an improved food system and increased food security. Community engagement and buy-in, across all stakeholders, are important outcomes of the plan to ensure sustainability.


Kristin Kessler, RDN, LDN,
CYT Project Manager, Department of Health and Wellness

Request Type
Wednesday, July 5, 2023

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