Mark your calendars for the next MFPC meeting!

Please join the Mississippi Food Policy Council for our second quarterly meeting of 2017!

Date:  Friday, April 7, 2017

Location:  Mississippi State University CAVS Extension Center

153 Mississippi Parkway, Canton, MS

Time:  11:00 a.m. – 1:30 PM

Lunch will be provided.  Please RSVP by March 15,  to Judy Belue at jwbelue1@gmail.com

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Join the Mississippi Food Policy Council

Why join the Mississippi Food Policy Council?

Food Policy Councils (FPCs) provide a unique forum for diverse stakeholders to come together and address common concerns regarding food policy including food systems, food security, farm policy, food regulations, health, and nutrition. FPCs are springing up around the country because no government agency deals specifically with food policy, though several different agencies deal with different aspects of food policy.  FPCs work at the state, local, or regional level to shape policy, promote public education and communication, evaluate current policies, and launch and support programs. 

The mission of the Mississippi FPC is to advocate for food and farm policies that build healthy communities and strengthen local food systems. The Mississippi Food Policy Council employs the following strategies to improve our food system:  (a) Strengthening the connections between food, health, natural resource protection, economic development and the agricultural community. (b) Researching, analyzing and reporting on information about the local food system. (c) Advocating for and advising on food system and food policy implementation. (d) Promoting and providing education on food system issues.

Membership in the Mississippi Food Policy Council has excellent benefits:

  • Be an advocate for good health, food and sustainable agricultural policy and practices in the State of Mississippi.
  • Stay informed about proposed policies, legislation, and initiatives and how they impact Mississippi food and farm policy.
  • Vote for the Board of Directors of the Mississippi FPC.

 Membership levels and their respective dues:

  • Individual – $35.00                                                 
  • Student – $20.00     
  • Agency/Business/Non-Profit – $50

Terms of Membership:

Government agencies are non-voting members.  Each business or non-profit has one vote per paid membership.  Businesses and non-profits may have additional votes as long as dues are paid for each representative.

Dues are payable to the MFPC upon submission of the application form.

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Save the Date! January 13, 2017

Please join the Mississippi Food Policy Council for our first quarterly meeting of 2017!

Date:  January 13, 2017

Location:  Mississippi State University, Bost Auditorium

Time:  11:00 a.m.

Special Speaker, Dr. Samina Raja, will present “Building Food Systems from the Ground Up.”

Lunch will be provided.  Please RSVP to Judy Belue at jwbelue1@gmail.com

samina_raja_flyer

 

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Mississippi MarketMaker In-Service Training Workshop and Outreach

Originally posted on Mississippi MarketMaker Blog: What is MarketMaker? MarketMaker “is the largest and most in-depth database of its kind featuring a diverse community of food-related businesses: buyers, farmers/ranchers, fisheries, farmers markets, processors/packers, wineries, restaurants and more. MarketMaker provides simple yet powerful search tools to connect with others across the production and distribution chain.” Read more…

via Mississippi MarketMaker In-Service Training Workshop and Outreach — The VeggieDr Blog

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Mark Your Calendar! 2017 North Mississippi Fruit & Vegetable Growers Conference — The VeggieDr Blog

via Mark Your Calendar! 2017 North Mississippi Fruit & Vegetable Growers Conference — The VeggieDr Blog

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October is Farm to School Month!

via FoodTank (http://foodtank.com/news/2016/10/celebrate-national-farm-to-school-month-this-october)

October is National Farm to School Month and communities across the country are celebrating the importance of farm to school programs. These programs, implemented in more than 42,500 schools in the United States, can help improve child nutrition, stimulate local economies, and educate children about where their food comes from and how to make informed food choices.

This year’s theme, One Small Step highlights the simple ways that, students, parents, teachers, nutrition professionals, food producers, and activists can make a difference by learning more about farm field trips, cooking lessons, and taste testing. The National Farm to School Network provides several resources including a toolkit on how to start and develop local farm to school programs, tips on how to ensure the sustainability of a school garden, and an overview of current and pending farm to school-related state and national policies. In addition, National Farm to School Month will highlight the different aspects of farm to school programs by focusing on a new theme every week: education, healthy school meals, farmers and producers, and the next generation.

Farm to school programs have engaged over 23.6 million students and have been shown to provide a multitude of benefits. According to the National Farm to School Network, students in farm to school programs demonstrate increased fruit and vegetable consumption, are more willing to try new foods, and exhibit improved academic outcomes. Christina Plyman, a student volunteer at Boyle County High School’s school garden in Kentucky, says“I’ve seen kids in the cafeteria eat healthier foods because their friends grew it, and they know the garden it was grown in.” Boyle County High School student garden volunteer, Trinity Sinkhorn, also praises the program, explaining “I’m taking on new leadership in our farm to school program and I’m interested in learning new approaches and finding ways to grow our activities.”

In addition to providing learning and leadership opportunities to students, farm to school programs benefit schools and the community. According to areport by UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, participating schools have reported an average increase of 9 percent in school meal participation and have increased local procurement of foods, with some schools sourcing up to 50 percent of their total purchases locally. Meanwhile, local farmers have experienced average income rises and increased market diversification. Upstream Public Health, a public health-focused nonprofit, found that for every US$1 spent on farm to school, US$2.16 is generated in economic activity benefiting the local community.

Farm to school programs may differ from school to school, but all enrich our local communities by changing food purchasing, education, and eating practices at schools and other education sites. Matthew Raiford, Executive Chef of The Farmer & The Larder in Brunswick, Georgia and a sixth generation farmer, addressed the importance of a collective effort to create strong and just local food systems at the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in June 2016. According to Raiford, “It takes more than a village. It takes villages to build better systems.” Food Tank invites you to join us and the many schools, farms, communities, and organizations around the country in celebrating National Farm to School Month this October.

Food Tank highlights a few outstanding farm to school programs happening around the country. Look who made the list!

 

Good Food for Oxford Schools, Mississippi: Good Food for Oxford Schools, an initiative of the Oxford School District in Oxford, Mississippi, aims to improve school meal offerings and provide nutrition education to students and their families. The program has increased the amount of local fruits and vegetables in school cafeterias and implemented nutrition education lessons in the classroom, emphasizing the importance of a healthy, nutritious diet. Outside of the classroom, Good Food for Oxford Schools offers cooking classes and educational grocery shopping trips for families.

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MFPC Quarterly Meeting Notice

The Mississippi Food Policy Council invites everyone to attend our quarterly meeting set for October 14 from 11 am – 2 pm.  The meeting will be held at the MSU CAVS Center in Canton.

We will host three presentations:

Chance McDavid, Mississippi State University  – Statewide Local Food Meetups

Keith Benson, Founder and Director of the Alliance for Sustainable Ag Production – New Food Safety certification for small to medium size producers in partnership with MSU

Dorothy Grady Scarbrough, co-lead for MS Farm to School Network – highlights and updates on healthier food for students statewide.

 

Lunch will be provided for a small donation.

Please RSVP to Henry Fuller at  hfuller@mbk-inc.org

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