Guiding planning and policy change to support the development of a secure and sustainable food system in Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Union, York Counties and the Catawba Indian Nation.
By drawing on the knowledge and experience of people from all segments of the local food system, a Food Policy Council becomes a source of information for the policy makers in government. A council can also help government agencies see how their actions affect the food system.
No state or city has a “Department of Food,” but a food policy council can take on
the essence of that role. It can look for those areas among government agencies where food issues intersect. FPCs can also be a bridge between the public and private sectors on food issues. And they can be a primary source of food education for the citizens at large, addressing such topics as:
Another good answer for why food policy councils are important: FPCs foster communication and civic action at the grassroots. They’re a chance for people to shape, from the bottom up, the nature of a system that can seem distant and bewildering, even as it affects so much of their lives. Achieving food democracy and social justice is a key part of any food policy council’s mission.
A community food system is a food system in which food production, processing, distribution and consumption are integrated to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of a particular place. A community food system can refer to a relatively small area, such as a neighborhood, or progressively larger areas – towns, cities, counties, regions, or bioregions. The concept of community food systems is sometimes used interchangeably with “local” or “regional” food systems, but by including the word “community” there is an emphasis on strengthening existing (or developing new) relationships among all components of the food system.
Four aspects distinguish community food systems from the globalized food system that typifies the source of most food Americans eat: food security, proximity, self-reliance and sustainability.