The Community & Agricultural Resilience Audit Tool - CARAT - helps community stakeholders self-assess how they currently utilize the assets of their local food system to achieve a substantial level of community resilience.

CARAT measures the resources within a food system via 100 indicators to determine possible next steps to increase community resiliency and food sovereignty.

These indicators revolve around seven core themes that address the complex nature of community resiliency. Each requires the attention and participation of a diverse team of community stakeholders who work together to provide a holistic perspective of how food systems play an integral role in their community’s resilience. 


CARAT will be formally released in Fall 2023. In the meantime, please contact us so that we can keep you posted.


Choose this option to download a fillable form that one member of your audit team will manage for the group.

This version is not saved to the CARAT database. 


Choose this option to use the online version of CARAT, allowing multiple members of your audit team to contribute by using a shared pin. 

This version generates additional insights from the CARAT database when submitted.


CARAT can be used to establish a baseline, set priorities, and measure change over time.

CARAT can be matched with technical support to guide a community through discovery, regardless of entry point or level of expertise.

CARAT results in a summary that can be easily shared to convey complex discoveries to other community stakeholders & supporters.

CARAT adopts a social-ecological systems perspective on the interdependency of humans and the environment.


As food system leaders representing a wide range of disciplines, we have observed that the strengths of a community's food system are major contributors to the development and maintenance of community resilience.

Resilience is essential for maintaining the health and safety of a community. Our definition of resilience borrows from the Rand Corporation:

Resilience is a measure of the sustained ability of a community to utilize available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations.

By focusing attention on 100 indicators within seven specific areas of community resilience, we hope that CARAT will help your team of stakeholders see, document, and appreciate your community’s current assets and areas of strength while making existing barriers to resilience more visible and easier to resolve.

Meet the CARAT Working Group

Inclusivity Statement

CARAT is firmly rooted in equitable access and engagement. CARAT creates a team approach for auditing community resilience by centering the voices and leadership of those most negatively impacted by its food system. CARAT is offered in both on-line and off-line versions. Please contact us here with your specific questions.

Privacy Statement

Your community's data belongs to your community. When your team uses the online version of the CARAT tool, your data is saved in the CARAT database so that you and your audit team members can access it. NAFSN will not share your data beyond your team members unless you submit a written request to do so.


CARAT began to take shape in Fall 2020 when community food system development experts, convened by NAFSN, began to identify key indicators of fragility and resilience related to food and agriculture.

COVID-19 cast new urgency on the project. Read about the DELPHI process for prioritizing CARAT indicators published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development in July 2022.

The first, off-line version of CARAT was released for use to the public in Fall 2023.