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Closing the Food Gap:. Food Policy Councils and Coalitions: Making the Right Prevalent. Mark Winne Food Policy Council Director Community Food Security Coalition 41 Arroyo Hondo Trail Santa Fe, New Mexico (505) 983-3047 email: [email protected] Favorite Quotes:

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Food policy councils and coalitions making the right prevalent

Closing the Food Gap:

Food Policy Councils and Coalitions: Making the Right Prevalent

Mark Winne

Food Policy Council Director

Community Food Security Coalition

41 Arroyo Hondo Trail

Santa Fe, New Mexico

(505) 983-3047

email: [email protected]


Favorite Quotes:

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence – success

is sure to follow” -- Mark Twain

 ”Everyone takes sides in social change if it is profound enough.” -- Wallace Stevens


Mark Winne has 30 years of experiencedirecting local food organizations inMaine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut,and 15 years of food policy council experiencein Connecticut and New Mexico. He currently provides food policy assistance through the Community Food Security, an organization that he co-founded 14 years ago. Mark also writes extensively on food and agriculture topics.


Where are the gaps
Where are the Gaps?

  • Access to healthy and affordable food,especially in lower income communities

  • Hunger and food insecurity

  • Access to markets that provide fair prices to farmers

  • Access to decision makers and policy making forums (food democracy)


The 3 p s of developing just and sustainable local food systems
The “3-P’s” of Developing Just and Sustainable Local Food Systems:

  • Projects: the programs, activities, businesses, and initiatives that make up local food systems

  • Partnerships: the process, collaborations, coalitions, and multi-stakeholder efforts that are formed to accomplish something that no single entity can accomplish alone

  • Policy: the actions and in-actions of government at all levels (local, state, federal) that influence the supply, quality, price, production, distribution, and consumption of food


Food and agriculture policies are an expression of our individual and community values
Food and Agriculture Policies are an Expression of Our Individual and Community Values

  • Values: fairness, equality, opportunity, compassion…

  • Yes, we can be responsible food system participants and consumers

  • But we must also be responsible and active food citizens

    “It is not only our responsibility to make the right known, it is also our responsibility to make it prevalent.” -- Edmund Burke


Local food organizations lfos and businesses begin to fill the gap with projects
Local Food Organizations (LFOs) and Businesses Begin to Fill the Gap with Projects

  • Non-profit organizations (farmers markets, CSAs, community gardens)

  • Community Development Corporations (supermarket development, new farm enterprises)

  • Faith-based institutions (food pantries, food banks)

  • Government Services and Programs (food stamps, WIC, farmland preservation)

  • Schools (child nutrition programs, farm-to-school)

  • Cooperative Extension (farmer assistance, nutrition education)

  • Private entrepreneurs (market-based enterprises, coops)


But they re never enough
But They’re Never Enough… the Gap with Projects

  • Never enough money

  • Don’t become large enough to make a major impact

  • Replication and expansion are stymied

  • Many food and agriculture problems too entrenched and complex

  • LFO efforts are often fragmented and uncoordinated


Organize
Organize! the Gap with Projects

  • Loose affiliations

  • Partnerships

  • Networks

  • Task forces

  • Coalitions

  • Councils


Moving forward
Moving Forward the Gap with Projects

  • Define the scope of interest: food/social justice, local food, policy

  • Who to engage: Who do we typically work with? Who else do we need to consider? What is the role of government (which jurisdictions – local, county, state)


Organizational issues
Organizational Issues the Gap with Projects

  • Strategic Planning: values, mission, goals, objectives by-laws, conflict resolution

  • Committees: Issues, organization

  • Meetings

  • Funding

  • Staff

  • In-kind support


Gaining confidence
Gaining Confidence the Gap with Projects

  • Implement projects: (i.e. jointly present a resolution or testify at a hearing; conduct a survey; create a food system map) with immediate returns to keep members motivated during the early stages

  • Gain interest and involvement of government officials


Getting started
Getting Started the Gap with Projects

  • Community food assessment and inventory of government programs and services (food policy assessment

  • Community engagement and participation

  • Crisis

  • Convene a forum; prepare a white paper


Find a champion
Find a Champion! the Gap with Projects

  • One or more public officials are usually necessary to secure government support

  • Allow ample time to educate public officials and solicit their input

  • Work with individuals and organizations who are familiar with city hall or the state house


Fpcs can complement and extend the work of lfos
FPCs Can Complement and Extend the Work of LFOs the Gap with Projects

  • Since state and local governments don’t have “Departments of Food”, FPCs can:

    -    represent a variety of private and public food system interest groups and agencies

    -    cut across government department lines and focus on food, nutrition, and agriculture issues

    -    serve as a food system planning venue and promote coordination between food system stakeholders

    - accept responsibility for ensuring that major food and farming goals, e.g. food is a human right, farmers are protected, are met


Fpcs work within the framework of existing governmental structures responsibilities and authority
FPCs work within the framework of existing governmental structures, responsibilities and authority

  • Allocation of government resources, e.g. budgets

  • Regulation

  • Management and administration

  • Public education and awareness


Fpc models
FPC Models: structures, responsibilities and authority

Connecticut State FPC (also Maine)

  • created by state statute (1998)

  • 12 members – 6 state agencies, 6 private sector appointed by legislative leadership, and several “affiliate” (non-appointed) members

  • receives small annual appropriation, administrative support from state dept. of agriculture, staff support from the Hartford Food System (non-profit organization)


Cities of hartford ct and knoxville tn
Cities of Hartford, CT and Knoxville, TN structures, responsibilities and authority

  • Created by city ordinance (response to a hunger crisis)

  • 15 members including ex-officio representatives from city agencies

  • Limited funding support from city and staff support from Hartford Food System


Iowa (also Michigan and New York) structures, responsibilities and authority

  • created by executive order

  • 20 to 30 members all appointed by Governor representing public and private sectors

  • IA - no state appropriation but received administrative support from Drake University

  • MI received funding from Kellogg Foundation


New Mexico (also Birmingham/Jefferson Co., AL, Colorado regional councils)

  • self-organized as a statewide coalition (operates under association governance guidelines)

  • NM legislature passed a resolution (2003) encouraging state agencies to participate in the council

  • membership is open to everyone

  • administrative and funding support provided by Farm to Table (non-profit organization)


Dual jurisdictional fpcs santa fe nm and portland or
Dual-Jurisdictional FPCs: regional councils)Santa Fe, NM and Portland, OR

  • City of Portland and Multnomah County (OR)

  • City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County (NM)

  • Joint Resolution passed by city and county

  • Council appointments shared by both

  • Staff representation and funding shared by both


General purposes and mission
General Purposes and Mission: regional councils)

  • Develop, coordinate, and implement a food system policy

  • Connect economic development, food security efforts, preservation and enhancement of agriculture, and environmental concerns

  • Ensure universal access to healthy and affordable food for all citizens

  • Support development and expansion of locally produced food

  • Review proposed legislation affecting the food system

  • Make recommendations to the governmental leadership

  • Employ research and information gathering, policy analysis, and public education methods

  • Serve as a public forum for the discussion of key food system issues


Fpc membership
FPC Membership regional councils)

  • Membership represents a balance between private organizations – non-profit and for-profit – and gov’t agencies:

    - food banks, nutrition, farming, community development

    - Depts of education, health, human svcs., agriculture, planning, etc.

  • Ordinance or statute should specify membership


Issues fpcs develop new markets for farmers
Issues: FPCs Develop New Markets for Farmers regional councils)

FPC (Connecticut Food Policy Council)

  • Introduced EBT at farmers’ markets

  • Addressing lack of slaughter and processing infrastructure in state

  • Prepared Connecticut Farm Map which helped farmers

  • Supported farm-to-school funding proposals

  • Promoted the development of “Connecticut Comes First” - public institutions buy Connecticut grown food


Issue develop new markets for farmers
Issue: Develop New Markets for Farmers regional councils)

FPC (NM Food & Agriculture Policy Council)

  • Increased funding for small farm program

  • Supported expansion of farm-to-school


Increase access
Increase Access… regional councils)

FPC

  • Promoted development and expansion of Women, Infant and Children and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs (CT)

  • Protected WIC FMNP from cuts and secured passage of Senior FMNP (NM)

  • Developed state funded program to purchase locally grown food for food banks and schools (NM)

  • Worked for passage of food security bills (NM & CT)

  • Assisting tribal communities with development of farmers’ markets and other food programs (NM)


Increase access to food stores
Increase Access to Food Stores… regional councils)

  • CT – developed new bus route to supermarkets; conducted food price survey; secured state funding for supermarket development

  • Develop Healthy Corner Store Campaign

  • NM – conduct rural and urban food gap assessment; established task force


Issue school food environments and nutrition programs
Issue: School Food Environments and Nutrition Programs regional councils)

  • Removal of junk (unhealthy) food from City of Hartford schools

  • Better access to school breakfast

  • Improvements in city-run WIC Program


Improved food environment
Improved Food Environment… regional councils)

FPC:

  • State funds for school breakfast start ups (CT)

  • State funds for universal school breakfast (NM)

  • City task force recommended and oversaw changes in WIC program (CT)

  • State junk food ban in schools (CT)

  • Task force to create school nutrition standards (NM) – soft drink industry opposed it


Loss of farmland
Loss of Farmland… regional councils)

FPC:

  • Conducted public education about farmland and farm loss

  • Introduced farmland protection and food system issues into government planning work

  • Formed the Working Land Alliance which:

    - increased public awareness of farmland loss

    - Secured $10 m. over 5 years of state farmland preservation funds

    - passed bill (2005) that creates self-funded $25 m. program to protect farmland, open space, and promote farm-to-school, farm viability and new farmer programs


Opposition and resistance
Opposition and Resistance regional councils)

  • FPCs are intended to be non-confrontational and non-partisan

  • They are advisory – they don’t make policy

  • Be prepared to negotiate with those who may oppose you, but know your bottom-line

  • Know who your opposition is (or may be) and work to keep them neutral

  • Work for consensus on issues; spend time educating one another; maintain a spirit of open and healthy debate


Lessons learned
Lessons Learned regional councils)

  • Relationships count; cultivate them

  • Try to be inclusive of a wide range of food system interests and issues

  • On conflict – work on what you can agree, for everything else, foster climate of robust debate

    (remember: “Everyone takes sides in social change if it is profound enough.”)


Lessons learned1
Lessons Learned… regional councils)

  • Educate the public and policy makers about concepts like food security, sustainable food systems, and food policy

  • Public education and information gathering may be your most important tool

  • Look for uncommon connections

  • Look for synergy and crossover in policy issues between local, state, and federal


Lessons learned2
Lessons Learned… regional councils)

Don’t Worry…it will take 20 years!


Resources
Resources regional councils)

  • Community Food Security Coalition Food Policy Council Project: Mark Winne, 505 983-3047; [email protected]; www.foodpolicycouncil.net; www.foodsecurity.org

  • Connecticut Food Policy Council (Linda Drake) www.foodpc.state.ct.us

  • Planners Commission Journal (No. 65, Summer 2006); www.plannersweb.com

  • Progressive Planning (No. 158, Winter 2004); www.plannersnetwork.org

  • New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council (Pam Roy – 505 473-1004; www.farmtotablenm.org)

  • Dane County Food Council (Madison, WI) – Martin Bailkey www.countyofdane.com/foodcouncil

  • National Association of Counties – “Counties and Local Food Systems” report; www.naco.org

  • Portland-Multnomah Food Policy Council (OR): Matt Emlen 503 823-7224, [email protected]


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