Kentucky Nutritional Security, Focusing on Our Assets, and Reframing Our “Why”
This month’s all-are-welcome Food Policy Council meeting was an exciting opportunity to convene, and we had a large contingent of in-person meeting participants who joined to learn more about NKY food issues and the GCRFPC’s strategic planning progress.
For many of us, it was our first time seeing Durr Education Center. The Center is a beautiful learning space for Kenton County Cooperative Extension, complete with a teaching kitchen and presentation facilities. We were welcomed warmly by Rosie Allen (see her Member Spotlight below) with healthy snacks and recipe print-outs. Rosie then led us in an abbreviated version of KY Cooperative Extension’s Hunger in Kentucky: Know More, Do More program. This immersive activity helped us learn more about the scope of nutritional insecurity in KY, as we walked through the labor-intensive process so many of our neighbors undertake to ensure their families meet their food needs. Kentucky Nutrition Education Program staff facilitate activities like this one as a form of public education that complements their work helping residents maximize available resources and eat healthfully.
Next, Lindsay Way, the consultant who is helping us with strategic planning, presented her findings to-date and her recommendations for our short-, mid-, and longer-term goals as a Food Policy Council.
We will be circulating and posting more details about the final version of the strategic plan once it’s completed in the coming weeks, but here are a few highlights from the meeting:
The Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council has some uncommon assets that contribute significantly to what’s going well for our initiative, including: being part of a larger nonprofit and having dedicated staff, a successful track-record of funding (including for present work!), and collaboration with other organizations and individuals.
Reframing our “why” (what motivates us and our work) slightly could have two major benefits: greater alignment with other regional and statewide entities and casting a wider net, so more people can see themselves and their work represented in us. We are considering Lindsay’s recommendation of the vision statement Our vision is a regional food system that contributes to community resilience with the widely understood “triple bottom line” of social, economic, and environmental factors.
Building on the momentum of our past and recent successes should be a priority and drive our next steps. Doing so should include clear and regular communication about our activities and celebration of our wins.
Clarifying our membership structure, discernment process, and engagement strategies are among the short- and mid-term next steps to ensure buy-in from a wide representation within our region.
Hiring another staff member to help conduct our work is an immediate priority—so please share that among your networks once it’s posted!
Meeting participants had some time to ask questions and share feedback, and meeting registrants received supporting documents from the meeting. Please reach out to Maddie if you would like more information.
📆 Join us next time! Register to attend our upcoming meetings.