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Food Policy Councils

Food policy councils convene citizens and government officials to provide a comprehensive examination of a state or local food system. This nonpartisan form of civic engagement brings together a diverse array of food system stakeholders to develop food environment and agriculture policy recommendations. They may help generate information on a community’s food system and offer advice on business development, institutional, and emergency food programs, or neighborhood, city, and regional comprehensive plans. Some examples and resources of food policy councils include:

Resource Library/ White Papers

Profiles of state and local food policy councils from the Drake University Agricultural Law Center. Available at:

Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council. Available at:

See also: Barriers and opportunities to the use of regional and sustainable food products by local institutions: a report to community food matters and the Portland/Multnomah Food Policy Council. Available at:

The diggable city: making urban agriculture a planning priority. Available at:
The Portland, Oregon, City Council unanimously passed Resolution 36272 calling for an inventory of city-owned lands suitable for agricultural uses. A group of Portland State University students in the Masters in Urban Planning program worked throughout the 2004–2005 school year to research new avenues for urban agriculture and to compile a land inventory using GIS analysis. In June 2005, the students submitted their report.

The Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council (CFPAC). Available at:
CFPAC promotes the development of responsible policies that improve Chicago residents’ access to culturally appropriate, nutritionally sound, and affordable food grown through environmentally sustainable practices.

Journal Articles

Schiff R. The role of food policy councils in developing sustainable food systems. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 2008;3(2&3):206–28. Available at:

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