State of the Food System

The San Diego Regional Food System also supports... 

Addressing Food Deserts

Map of San Diego county food deserts

Food deserts are residential areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. Learn more about food deserts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Access Research Atlas

Learn how BrightSide Produce and the Live Well Community Market Program are addressing food deserts in the San Diego region on page 88 of the State of the Food System report.  

Approximately 25 percent of all census tracts in San Diego county are considered to be food deserts.

(Please note that the large region in orange on the top right corner of the map is mostly natural open space.) 

Supporting the Food System in the Face of Climate Change

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's California Climate Hub has climate change information specific to California to better equip farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, and tribes. 

Climate Science Alliance, in collaboration with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, released the 2020 Report: Climate Change Impacts for Specialty Crops to highlight how climate change impacts will occur at the local and regional scale, and what it means for top agricultural crops. See San Diego region specifics on pages 4 and 6. 

County Efforts in Promoting a Sustainable Food System 

Through the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (PACE), the County compensates farmers who place a permanent easement on their property. PACE provides fair compensation to farmers who dedicate their property’s future use to agriculture, eliminating development potential and reducing sprawl. Since 2014, the County has placed a total of 793 acres of agricultural easements in the unincorporated county. 

Learn more about the County's efforts in supporting a resilient and sustainable food system with the County of San Diego's Climate Action Plan (CAP) measures on Built Environment & Transportation and Agriculture & Conservation.


The State of the Food System Report was developed to understand what the food system looks like in the San Diego region, its current state, its challenges, and areas of opportunity. The goal is for this report and its future iterations to serve as an informative resource for community education and engagement and also help inform programs and policy change.

Given the availability of data to inform the State of the Food System Report, from the Census of Agriculture and other important data sources, this report will be updated on a five-year cycle.


The creation of the State of the Food System Report was led by the County in close collaboration with the San Diego Food System Alliance and with the input and contributions of dozens of food system stakeholders throughout the San Diego region including representatives from government agencies, nonprofits, academic and research institutions, and industry groups. See full list of collaborators, contributors, and stakeholders involved on page 138 of the report.