Reminder: Food Policy Council Forming
Category: The Big Picture

Reminder: Food Policy Council Forming

Announcement from the Food Policy Planning Group:

FOOD POLICY COUNCIL FORMING – for Tompkins County.  Many other communities have created a Food Policy Council – to advise local governments and promote the adoption of policies that will encourage a more locally-based, sustainable and equitable food system.  About a year ago, some citizens got together to start working on putting a Food Policy Council in place for Ithaca and Tompkins County.  The current plan is to get the word out about what such a Council can do, and how people could be part of it, or support it.  Anyone can be a Friend of the Food Policy Council, simply by submitting their name, address, and a way they can be contacted (by phone or email).  Friends will be able to seek a seat on the Council, and/or to vote for the candidates, in the Fall.  If you want to be a Friend, to learn more, to offer your ideas on how the food system could be improved, or to become involved in helping the Council to get started, please contact the Planning Group at tcfoodpolicycouncil@gmail.com or 607-252-6695.

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Friends of the Food Policy Council – What’s That?

Many other communities across the US have created an entity typically called a Food Policy Council, and these groups are making a difference.  They do research, gather information and ideas from all parts of the community, and advise local governments and institutions as to how they can adopt or change policies that will encourage and support a food system that is more locally and regionally based, that is more sustainable and healthy (for people and the environment), and that is more fair and just.

A group of concerned local citizens has been meeting for the past year, to lay the groundwork for getting a Food Policy Council established for Tompkins County.  They are ready to move forward now, with an outreach program to let people know about it, and to hear feedback and suggestions.

Most of the initial 25 members of the Council will be elected (this Fall), from different “sectors” of the food system (including consumers), and some will be appointed by groups with a special stake in the food system or that work closely with people who tend to be underserved by it.  To be eligible to run for election or to vote for candidates, all you need to do is to become a Friend of the Food Council, by submitting your name, address, and a way to contact you (by phone or email) to the Planning Group for the Council, at tcfoodpolicycouncil@gmail.com or 607-252-6695.

There are several levels of possible involvement with the Friends:

– You can simply receive occasional updates and be eligible to vote in the election.

– You could attend meetings in preparation for the actual establishment of the Council, and offer

suggestions on issues the Council could work on.

– You could offer to help the Council in various ways, such as:

– providing child care during Council meetings

– providing snacks for Council meetings

– providing transportation to and/or from Council meetings

– conducting research on food-related topics the Council intends to address

Image credit: courtesy of the Food Policy Council

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