ICC Food Policy Subcommittee
By Lori Yelton, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD)
Since the transition of the Michigan Food Policy Council to the new Interdepartmental Collaboration Committee (ICC) Food Policy Subcommittee, the goals and activities of the Food Policy Council have been redirected to the new ICC Food Policy Subcommittee. This subcommittee was established to shift toward a more action-oriented stage for food policy development in Michigan.
, The committee’s top focal areas, as found on its website and starting with highest priority, are:
1. Support the Michigan Good Food Fund (MGFF), formerly known as the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), and related Voices for Healthy Kids effort.
2. Help small-scale farms achieve food safety certification to increase sales to the retail food industry, institutional buyers and other customers.
3. Build capacity of Michigan’s farmers market sector to increase access to healthy foods.
4. Expand Double Up Food Bucks through the Farm Bill.
5. Coordinate with state partners and industry to decrease barriers with WIC access.
6. Share updates and support efforts of local food councils.
7. Grow small meat processing in Michigan.
Some of the subcommittee’s current activities include:
- Voices for Healthy Kids, a Healthy Food Fund Initiative through the Michigan Chapter of the American Heart Association;
- The upcoming Michigan Good Food Fund launch;
- Cooking demonstration guidance for farmers markets from MDARD; and,
- WIC access at grocery stores.
Future topics will include a review of the study on the needs of the meat industry in Michigan that was released in October 2014, coordination with Fair Food Network efforts and on-line SNAP benefits.
Visit the ICC Food Policy Subcommittee’s website for information on current projects, relevant documents, upcoming meetings and contact information.