Food policy is complex. We believe better food policy comes from inclusive and equitable civic engagement. When food policy councils embrace complexity, engage diverse perspectives, and collaborate across boundaries, enduring food policy solutions emerge. In the spirit of abundance, this fund provides innovative support for food policy councils working with and through both community members and local government to push food policy forward.
We want to increase food security and civic engagement through stronger food councils. Food brings us together; we believe food policy councils can set the table for better food policy by:
- Increasing levels of inclusive and equitable, two-way civic engagement around food
- Engaging systems thinking when tackling complex challenges such as food security
- Identifying, mapping, supporting, and appreciating local and grassroots food efforts
- Facilitating collaboration with and across local government agencies and departments
- Developing or revising local policies and plans to support community food security
Our Core Values
Fostering connections between people, recognizing the importance of engaging perspectives of those most affected by, interested in, or holding the power to change an issue. Facilitating group flow to move beyond mere cooperation, but engaging in shared leadership through inclusive and equitable processes which enable us to leverage differences in perspective and culture.
Dancing with complexity
Recognizing that complex, adaptive challenges require multi-faceted approaches, held loosely, to allow for emergence. Moving past symptoms into underlying causes of these challenges. Acknowledging that there will be no simple quick fix, but looking for high-potential leverage points to help the system shift into a healthier pattern. Balancing qualitative with quantitative, instinct with data, action with reflection.
Moving away from either/or towards a both/and mindset, harnessing the power of creative tension to bring forth great imagination of what is possible, together. Acting with a resilience mindset, dreaming big, and cultivating optimism, infusing what we do with life-affirming spirit.
Shifting the funding landscape
Innovating beyond business-as-usual grantmaking, learning with and through those doing the work, in the spirit of co-creation and partnership. Recognizing the inherent power dynamics associated with funding and taking steps to healthily engage on more equitable footing. Acknowledging that this funding is late to the party, given the myriad of diverse resources being offered up by those doing the food policy work in their communities.
Where We are Headed
We are moving forward in three key areas:
- Building the Donor Base
- Reviewing the Food Policy Council Landscape
- Forming the Advisory Team
Projects that Inform Our Work
We draw inspiration from the following…
- Deciding Together – Decidiendo Juntos
- Food Policy Networks Project – at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
- Milan Urban Food Policy Pact
- Community Food Strategies
- Food Systems Knowledgebase Collection – APA
…and the list keeps growing!