Local and regional food systems (LRFS) innovated during COVID-19 to respond to market demand and policy changes. Given their unique characteristics, we identify drivers that explain why local responses to COVID-19 vary when compared with the national dialogue on food supply chain disruptions. We suggest LFRS enterprises are nimble and connected to supply chain partners, allowing them to innovate quickly with a targeted approach. Considering the shorter supply chains and smaller operations typical of LRFS, we assert the current regulatory environment's fairness and relevance may be scrutinized. In conclusion, we articulate an updated research and technical assistance agenda for LRFS.
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