Addressing Inequities within the Food System through Local Food Policy Councils
The Columbia Food Policy Committee (CFPC), the first municipal food policy council in the state, was formed in 2017.The function of the committee is to gather and address issues found within all components of the food system primarily through making policy and programmatic recommendations to the Columbia City Council.Soon after the establishment of the CFPC, we formed the Food Equity Subcommittee in order to ensure that the voices of Columbia residents living in low food access areas and those most directly impacted by the inequities in the current food system were the key drivers of the policy recommendations developed out of the CFPC, and to build capacity of residents to advocate on their own behalf for the passage of policies that promote food equity and inclusion in our city.A primary strategy for hearing and integrating community voices into our policy recommendations was through a series of Food Gatherings. This session will provide guidance on starting a local food policy council in your area and replicating the Food Gathering process ‚Äì a process transferable to other social issues outside of food. You will also learn how we used the findings from the Food Gatherings to develop a strong policy agenda for the CFPC, review the platform, and hear how we are moving the policy recommendations forward in the city. We will also cover how we are replicating this local food policy council work in both rural and urban areas around the state through the SC SNAP-Ed program. Finally, this session include discussion on the association between food inequities and lack of transportation and provide case study examples of efforts happening in urban and rural areas to address these issues in tandem.
- Attendees being inspired and motivated to get involved in a food policy council in their area or to help start one.
- Attendees recognizing any misperceptions/judgements they had about the lived experiences of people experiencing food inequities.
- Attendees having the knowledge and skills to host a Food Gathering in their area, or to use the same methodology to learn from people most impacted by another social issue.