We recently welcomed a new cohort of Council Members and launched new committees to make the regional food system more resilient through collective impact.
The restructuring of the new Food Policy Council cohort was guided by a collaborative strategic planning process in 2022. Growth in the program and changes to the landscape coincide coincident with the COVID-19 pandemic response and regional developments motivated the new plan. One significant recommendation in the plan was to expand the Council’s engagement with people working across the food system, including more farmers, and in parts of the region beyond the city of Cincinnati. Ensuring the Council represents the diversity of viewpoints, roles, lived experiences, and more across the regional food system was key to the restructuring.
In the last quarter of 2022, the Food Policy Council publicized a call for applications to serve in the role of Council Member, open to veteran and new members. Out of 50 applicants in this round, 17 applicants were selected to serve in the 2023 cohort of Council Members. Members will serve in this volunteer role in one-, two-, or three-year terms to ensure continuity of the work.
Council Members are responsible for guiding the activities of the Food Policy Council, including through decisions about policy advocacy efforts and facilitation of the Food Policy Council committees. There are four topical Council committees, which align with the Council’s policy agenda: Farm & Land-use, Access & Education, Infrastructure, and Institutions; plus a Steering Committee, which focuses on Governance & Membership, Equity, and Communications & Outreach.
Food Policy Council Director, Maddie Chera, who leads the team providing the program Backbone Support under Green Umbrella, said, “We are delighted to welcome new and returning collaborators to the 2023 cohort of Council Members! They represent a range of expertise and experience that will help us continue to build a strong food system based in our region, from farm and garden through distribution, processing, and retail to every resident and, finally, the compost pile.”
In addition to Council Members, the Food Policy Council welcomes Committee Members to contribute to each of its committees, which meet monthly. Committee Network Members are involved in or interested in the regional food system and participate in Food Policy Council activities by attending events, donating to or sponsoring the Council’s work, reading and sharing news, taking action on advocacy campaigns, and volunteering with the Food Policy Council. Partners in the Food Policy Council’s grant-supported projects serve as Consulting Members on the Council, providing expertise and guidance. The Council will welcome new Council Members in 2024.
2023 Council Members
Rosie Allen, Garland Butts, Polly Campbell, Shannon Carr, Amanda Changet, Erin Dance, Maria Gulley, Fran Knox Kazimierczuk, Renee Mahaffey Harris, Michelle Merrett, Mark Mitchell, Aaron Parker, Morgan Phelps, Emalee Richman, Tonia Smith, Tony Staubach, and Ellen Sundermeyer.
2023 Consulting Members
include representatives from the following organizations:
Cincinnati Museum Center (Arynn McCandless), Cincinnati Foodshed (R. Alan Wight), City of Cincinnati Office of Environment and Sustainability (Robin Henderson), Civic Garden Center (Ellie Falk), Co-Op Cincy (Mona Jenkins), Gorman Heritage Farm (Nicole Gunderman), NKY Health Department (Monica Smith), Ohio Farmers Market Network (Penny Shore), KY FarmShare Coalition (Katie Harvey), Produce Perks Midwest (Alison Farrell), What Chefs Want! (Anna Haas), and Your Store of the Queen City (Reba Hennessey).
🙋🏽️ Get involved as a Committee Member today!