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Mayor Creates Food Policy Advisory Council

Friday December 3, 2010

Goal is to assist in the development of a healthy, equitable food economy

Today Mayor Abramson and Public Health and Wellness Acting Director, Dr. Matt Zahn, announced the creation of a Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC). The FPAC will work to identify and propose innovative solutions to improve the local food system by making it more equitable and sustainable and spurring local economic development.

The Food Policy Advisory Council is an obesity prevention strategy of the $7.9 million federal Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant which the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement received earlier this year. The grant focuses on long and short term strategies to change systems, the environment and policies that increase physical activity and better nutrition. There are currently 39 active Food Policy Councils across the United States and Canada.

“Louisville’s Food Policy Advisory Council will bring together a diverse group of people from local neighborhoods, educational institutions, restaurants, grocers, local farmers, faith-based organizations, nonprofits and public and private healthcare organizations to encourage a robust, sustainable local food economy and a healthier population,” said Mayor Abramson.

“Food Policy Advisory Councils play an important role in strengthening the market for local food, promoting sustainability, improving public health through an emphasis on fresh food, and improving ‘food security’ for low-income residents,” added Dr. Zahn.

The FPAC will have a minimum of 15 members who will meet at least six times a year. They will elect officers and establish work groups. All members will be appointed by Mayor-elect Fischer. Four of the members will be Metro agency department directors who will serve as voting ex officio members: the directors of Metro Parks, Public Health and Wellness, Codes and Regulations and Economic Development. Josh Jennings, a community health specialist with the Department of Public Health and Wellness’ Center for Health Equity will serve as the administrative coordinator for the FPAC. His position is paid for with CPPW grant funds.

Anyone in the community who is interested in serving on the FPAC is encouraged to apply by end of business on Friday, December 24. The application is available at www.louisvilleky.gov/health or by calling Josh Jennings at 502-574-5716.

Applications will be reviewed by a Food Policy Advisory Council Development Committee who will then make recommendations for membership to Mayor-elect Greg Fischer. Committee members include: Cassia Herron, an urban planner and owner of a catering business and resident of Shelby Park who is also a member of the Community Farm Alliance; SteVon Edwards, community health specialist with the Department of Public Health and Wellness and member of Mayor-elect Fischer’s transition team; Sara Fritschner, coordinator of the Louisville Farm to Table initiative with the Metro Office of Economic Development, editor of edible Louisville magazine, and former food editor for the Courier Journal and Washington Post; Andrew Kang Bartlett, Associate for National Hunger Concerns for the Presbyterian Church USA Hunger Program, a co-founder of Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville, and a member of Community Farm Alliance; Mike Bramer, director for Healthy Actions at the YMCA of Greater Louisville; Susan McNeese Lynch, representing the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement and Jennings.

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The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness administers the $7.9 million CPPW grant which seeks to advance the work of the Healthy Hometown Movement and make Louisville a healthier place to live for everyone by:

  • encouraging environmental, systems and behavioral change designed to improve the ability to make healthier choices,
  • assisting with developing policies, programs and communitywide tools needed to reach the entire community with healthier messages healthier choice support systems,
  • targeting entire communities including underserved areas where healthier choices may be severely limited.

To learn more about Louisville’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant, visit http://www.louisvilleky.gov/Health/PuttingPreventiontoWork.

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