The Douglas County Food Policy Council invites the community to a “Local Food System Update and Reception” 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at the historic Santa Fe Depot in Lawrence, 413 E. Seventh St. The event is free and will feature foods from locally-owned ethnic food retailers who are participating in a research study that will be highlighted during the program.
In 2016, the Douglas County community identified and prioritized goals for the local food system, which resulted in a 62-page Food System Plan. The plan was adopted in 2017 by the Douglas County and City of Lawrence commissions and has inspired community partnerships and action and has guided policy changes by local governments.
The Douglas County Food Policy Council, a joint city-county advisory board with 16 members, is responsible for carrying out the goals of the Food System Plan. During the event, board members will share updates about the progress that has been made as well as next steps and opportunities. During the program, board members will highlight:
- Convening stakeholders to foster food system economic development
- Research and support around culturally significant food retailers
- Policy research to inform the creation of a food waste toolkit for restaurants
- Promotion and support for new and existing agritourism ventures
- Local resources that help connect older adults to nutritious foods
Community members will be invited to join the efforts of the Douglas County Food Policy Council’s three work groups, which are working in the areas of:
- Economic development and agricultural land use
- Equitable access to nutritious food
- Reducing and diverting food waste
“It’s important to maintain public engagement around the Food System Plan since many of the goals outlined within it came directly from the vision of Douglas County residents,” said Kim Criner Ritchie, Sustainability and Food Systems analyst for Douglas County. “So much of this progress would not have been possible without strong partnerships and collaboration with organizations and individuals across our community.”
For more information about the Food Policy Council, visit: douglascountyks.org/fpc.