Dara Bloom

Dara Bloom

PhD Assistant Professor and Local Foods Extension Specialist 919-515-8475

Areas of Expertise

  • Local Food Systems
  • Community Food Security and Food Access
  • Value Chains and Supply Chain Governance


Dara Bloom is an Assistant Professor and Local Foods Extension Specialist at NC State University.   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

  • Local Foods Graduate Course for Extension Agents
  • Master Food Volunteer Program
  • Farm-to-Childcare
  • Working with immigrant/refugee communities on self-directed local foods projects

Selected Publications

  • Bloom, J. Dara and Lelekacs, Joanna M. 2014. Eat Local. Eat Healthy. Local foods program brochure. (link)
  • Bloom, J. Dara. Standards for Development: Food Safety and Sustainability in Wal-Mart’s Honduran Produce Supply Chains. Rural Sociology, 80(2), 198–227. http://doi.org/10.1111/ruso.12060 (link)
  • 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. (link)
  • 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. http://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-015-0295-z (link)

Contributing Websites

Contact Information

Youth, Family, and Community Sciences
NC State University
512 Brickhaven Drive 220F
Campus Box 7606
Raleigh, NC 27695-7606