The mission of the MS Food Policy Council is to advocate for food and farm policies that build healthy communities and strengthen local food systems.
The Mississippi Food Policy Council was established in April of 2010 and is comprised of stakeholders focused on issues such as hunger, farming, health, nutrition and policy. The steering committee has been comprised of organizations such as: Mississippi Health Advocacy Program, Harvard Law School, Real Food Gulf Coast, Delta Directions Consortium, Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, Mississippi Poultry Association, Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, Indianola Main Street/Indianola Farmers Market, Cole Farms, North Delta Produce Growers Association, Delta Fresh Foods, Mississippi Roadmap to Health Equity, Mississippi Farm Bureau, Gulf Coast Health Educators, and Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi. Individuals from Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi, and several government agencies are also involved.
What is a 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. Stakeholders include people such as farmers, city and state officials, non-profit organizations, chefs, food distributors, food justice advocates, educators, health professionals, and concerned citizens. FPCs bring together these stakeholders to share concerns and then utilize this diverse membership to act on common goals, thus influencing and shaping food policy. FPCs exist in various other cities and states, and have had much success in improving and amending policies to be friendlier to local food systems and improve access to healthy foods.
About the Mississippi Food Policy Council
The Mississippi Food Policy Council started with preliminary meetings in spring and summer 2010 to start discussing whether there was a need for a state-level food policy council. Members agreed that this council would fill a useful and needed role in bringing together various stakeholders and advocates around food, farming, health, and economic development to forge better food policies for Mississippi. The MFPC meets 4-5 times per year with individuals and representatives from organizations around the state of Mississippi to educate, network, and discuss policy changes. In summer 2011 we elected our first board, and the board meets monthly.
The MFPC 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.
The MFPC is governed by an eight person board of directors. For more information, please view a copy of our by-laws here: MFPC By-laws -edited 5-7-13.