Food Policy Council Launches in Washtenaw County

08/1/2012

Photo courtesy of MSU Student Organic Farm. (view larger image)

Photo courtesy of MSU Student Organic Farm.

By Michaelle Rehmann, Food System Economic Partnership

Concerned citizens, farmers, food system advocates and county officials have come together to form the Washtenaw Food Policy Council (WFPC). The council, whose mission is to promote policies that increase and preserve access to safe, local and healthy food for all residents of Washtenaw County, consists of fifteen members appointed by the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. The first meeting was held in June 2012.

Using the Michigan Good Food Charter as a guide, the WFPC strives to support and expand existing food system work by focusing on policy issues. Council Chairperson Tim Redmond says “There is a good deal of very positive effort already going on among various groups in the county, so we don’t want to duplicate efforts already under way, but we do want to focus on local policies that will help foster a healthier local citizenry and economy by growing the local food system.”

The full council will meet quarterly, where they will discuss key policy issues and how they impact the citizens of Washtenaw County. 

Council members and the sectors they represent are:  Tim Redmond (food manufacturer and distributor) (Chair), Liz Dahl MacGregor (citizen) (Vice Chair), Kenny Siler (rural agriculture) (Treasurer), Lindsey Scalera (education)(Secretary), Nicole Chardoul (waste management), Amanda Edmonds (urban agriculture), Gretchen Hofing (nutrition), Dena Jaffee (food service), Nicole Miller (emergency food system), Yousef Rabhi (county commissioner), Michaelle Rehmann (economic development), Patti Smith (human services), Dayle Wright (health care), and Bill Alt (faith-based organization). A final position will be filled by someone from public health.

Additionally, council members have begun to develop Policy Action Teams that will focus on a wide range of policies at the local, state and federal level that support all aspects of the food system. 

These teams will meet regularly and will help inform the work of the council. 

The WFPC Policy Action Teams are:

Farmers

· Co-led by Kenny Siler and Tim Redmond
· Meets every other month on the third Tuesday of the month from 10:00 – 11:30am

Food Access

· Led by Nicole Miller
· Meets monthly on the third Monday of the month from 3:30 – 5:00pm

Food and Food Packaging Waste

· Led by Nicole Chardoul
· Meets monthly on the third Tuesday of the month from 3:30 – 5:00pm

Planning and Zoning

· Led by Amanda Edmonds
· Meets monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month from 4:30 – 6:00pm

Young Eaters

· Led by Lindsey Scalera
· Meeting dates not yet set.

We encourage those working or living in Washtenaw County to join us on one of the policy action teams!

For more information on the Washtenaw Food Policy Council, contact Lily Guzman at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by phone at: (734) 544-2983.