Food Lifeline has participated in the Regional Food Policy Council (RFPC) representing the non-governmental anti-hunger organization seat. The RFPC “develops just and integrated policy and action recommendations that promote health, sustain and strengthen the local and regional food system, and engage and partner with agriculture, business, communities and governments in the four-county region”. That four-county region includes Pierce, King, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties – all counties in Food Lifeline’s service area.
Recently, the RFPC has shifted its focus, prioritizing two goals through 2017:
- Enhance economic viability of local and regional food systems
- Promote equity and access to affordable, nutritious food
Katharine Ryan, from Food Lifeline, is serving as chair of the subcommittee focusing on increasing food access. The subcommittee recently prioritized three projects to work on through this year:
- Comprehensive Plan Review: Review comprehensive plans from all jurisdictions in the four-county region and generate database and report identifying policies and gaps related to food access. The results could then be shared to allow other jurisdictions to see what policies are in place around the region and how to implement those policies in their communities.
- Food Access Policy and Project Case Studies: Create case studies that highlight known policy changes that have led to increased equitable access to food in our region. Effective local policies will be highlighted with implementation success stories so as to better communicate the implications of policy changes and inspire other jurisdictions and advocates to enact policy changes.
- Farmers Market SNAP Implementation: Provide support to a small number of communities who are ready to launch/continue accepting SNAP benefits at their farmers markets. The goal will be to expand city or county investment to support the start-up and continued operations of these programs.
The subcommittee is looking for help on these three projects, particularly from individuals living within the four-county region of the Puget Sound Regional Council. If you’re interested in learning more or helping out, please contact Katharine Ryan at email@example.com.