EAT South works to address the underlying challenges for creating a healthy food system by collaborating with groups and individuals across the state to develop Food Policy Councils. Over the last two years, we have helped launch the River Region Food Policy Council in the Montgomery area as well as the Alabama Food Policy Council.
What is a Food Policy Council?
Food Policy Councils (FPCs) bring together stakeholders from diverse food-related sectors to examine how the food system is operating and to develop recommendations on how to improve it. FPCs may take many forms, but are typically either commissioned by state or local government, or predominately a grassroots effort. Food policy councils have been successful at educating officials and the public, shaping public policy, improving coordination between existing programs, and starting new programs. Examples include mapping and publicizing local food resources; creating new transit routes to connect underserved areas with full-service grocery stores; persuading government agencies to purchase from local farmers; and organizing community gardens and farmers' markets.
River Region Food Policy Council: Growing Food Literacy in Alabama
The River Region Food Policy Council is a private-public partnership of trust engaged in an inclusive, collaborative effort to educate the region about its food systems, and ensure that its food sources are Sustainable, Healthy, Affordable, Responsible, and Equitably available (SHARE)
Food Literacy is the ability to organize one´s everyday nutrition in a self-determined, responsible and enjoyable way. Food Literacy can be achieved through FPCs, seed to plate programs, cooking education, CSAs, etc. Think of Food Literacy as the all-encompassing term for the work that is done in the food movement.
The River Region includes the counties of Montgomery, Autauga, Elmore, Macon, and Lowndes.
To find out more about what’s happening with the RRFPC and learn about upcoming events, please visit www. riverregionfood.org.
Alabama Food Policy Council
Over the last two years groups from across the state have been meeting to develop an organization that can bring the regional food policy councils and groups working on food policy across the region together to create a unified voice for a just sustainable food system.
This work has been focused on hosting listening sessions across the state in collaboration with AARP and Auburn University’s Rural Sociology Department. These sessions culminated in a ‘white paper’ that describes the challenges and opportunities in the Alabama food system. These impressions are currently driving the conversation about how to formalize the state food policy council and create positive change.
To find out more about the AFPC, visit https://www.asanonline.org/pages/food-policy
To sign-up for the Alabama Food Policy Council list-serve, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.