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Food Policy Council (FPC) Meeting on Mon, April 17, 2017 - 6:30 PM

Meeting Agenda: 

6pm pre-meeting presentation: Lori Gardner, owner of Homestead Kitchen & Bakery, shares about her new business in Baldwin City. http://www.homestead.cafe/about-us.html

 

  1. Administrative Items
    1. Determine quorum of members, agenda approval
    2. Approval of March meeting minutes
    3. Member directory
    4. Budget overview and approvals
    5. Kansas State of Wellness Award: We won!

       

  2. Presentation from Sunrise Project Community Coordinators

     

  3. Douglas County Food System Plan Update
    1. Food System Assessment Executive Summary update
    2. Discussion of the steps ahead
    3. Vote on new food system graphic
    4. Vote to direct staff to finalize plan and prepare for Commissioner adoption

       

  4. Lawrence Farmers Market Support Letter (Amanda Cook)

     

  5. Double Up Food Bucks Update (Eileen Horn)

 

  1. State Policy Update (Ashley Jones-Wisner)

     

  2. Subcommittee Reports
    1. City (Aundrea Shafer)
    2. County (Jen Humphrey)
    3. Community (Kim Criner)

 

  1. FPC Member Updates

     

  2. Public Input

 

  1. Adjourn
Meeting Location: 
Homestead Kitchen & Bakery Bake Shop
Street Address: 
719 S. 8th St. Baldwin City, KS 66006
Meeting Minutes: 

Visit the café! http://www.homestead.cafe/about-us.html  

 

In attendance: Christine Ebert, Marlin Bates, Inti Hirt, Jill Elmers, Jen Humphrey, Michael Steinle, Scott Thellman, Connie Fitzpatrick, William Vesecky, Michael Showalter, Aundrea Shafer, TK Peterson, Ashley Jones-Wisner, Kim Criner, Elizabeth Burger, Larry McElwain

 

Absent: Pattie Johnston, Jennifer Kongs, Jan Hornberger, Lee Broyles, John Pendleton, Brent Smith, Joshua Falleaf

 

Staff: Eileen Horn, Helen Schnoes

 

Public: Nicholas Ward, Carol Gilmore, Robin St. James, Jeannette Blackmar, Emily Hampton, Melissa Freiberger, Laurel Sears, Chris de la Cruz, Betty Pickerel, Carla Wiederholt, Patty Metzler

 

  1. Administrative Items
    1. Determine quorum of members, agenda approval
    2. Approval of March meeting minutes: Humphrey, Thellman—all approved
    3. Member directory: An updated list of members and their contact information was shared. See attachment in email for a digital copy.
    4. Budget overview and approvals
      1. Retreat: The group discussed a request for a $500 facilitation expenditure, to support the July 17 DCFPC retreat. Additional retreat costs were also considered, including food and location. The group directed staff to look into retreat locations (including White Tail Run winery) and associated rental costs to present at the May 15 meet for a decision. TK Peterson offered to cater through his restaurant, Merchants, with a budget around $300.
      2. Elmers made a motion to approve $800 for food and facilitation; seconded by Thellman—all approved.
    5. Added agenda item: Membership
      1. Institutional Purchaser Representative; This position is currently held by Brent Smith, Food Service Director at Lawrence Memorial Hospital (Unidine is the food service management company). Carla Weiderholt, who works under Brent, attended the meeting to express her interest in taking over the position to maintain the connection with LMH. Also in attendance was Patty Petzler, who has worked at LMH for 15 years, who will be a secondary representative in case Carla cannot attend.
      2. Retail Food Outlet Position–Jan Hornberger informed staff recently that her position with HyVee had changed, and management no longer sanctioned her service on the DCFPC as a HyVee representative in the Retail Food Outlet position. Helen informed the group that Jan’s second term ends in December 2017, concluding 6 years of service, and Jan’s interest to continue serving as a community member for the remainder of the term.
      3. Thellman made a motion to approve both membership proposals; seconded by Steinle—All approved  
    6. Kansas State of Wellness Award: Lawrence-Douglas County Sustainability Office won a Kansas State of Wellness Award, from the Kansas Alliance for Wellness (a program of the American Heart Association). The work of the Douglas County Food Policy Council and LiveWell Lawrence figured prominently in the community initiatives featured in the award application essay. As part of the award, a short video will be made about the efforts in the community, including Worksite CSAs, the Common Ground Community Garden program, and Double Up Food Bucks. Helen is overseeing this in the next few weeks. The video will debut at the 2017 Kansas State of Wellness Symposium, held May 24 in at the Salina Bi-Center, 800 The Midway, Salina, KS 67401. All DCFPC members are welcome to attend!  

 

  1. Presentation from Sunrise Project Community Coordinators

Betty Pickerel, Connie Fitzpactrick, Robin St. James, and Chris de la Cruz shared about their work as Sunrise Project Community Coordinators. Betty, Connie, and Robin have been working with Sunrise Project since June 2016 to learn about the food system and local government, and then collect stories of folks they know in the community, to help in form the Food System Plan. See attached documents for summary notes.

 

Laurel Sears, who has worked with Helen as project assistant for the Food System Plan, collaborated with the Community Coordinators to be participants in a “PhotoVoice” project, as part of her master’s thesis project at KU. See slides for the background on “PhotoVoice” and the two images and captions generated by Connie, Betty, Robin, and Chris as part of this process.

 

The final PhotoVoice project will be on display at Lawrence Public Library later this spring. The DCFPC will be invited.

 

  1. Douglas County Food System Plan Update
    1. Food System Assessment Executive Summary update
      1. Helen shared that work has begun on the executive summary for the long-awaited food system assessment update. Both the summary and the full document will be completed at the same time as the Food System Plan, so both can be shared with the Commissioners and community.
    2. Discussion of the steps ahead
      1. Helen shared the 1-pager summarizing edits completed on the Food System Plan, and next steps should the group vote to empower staff to finalize and initiate the adoption process with City and County Administration. Upon finalization of the text, the document will be professionally designed with photos integrated. Anticipated timing for formal presentations to City and County Commissioners to vote on the plan will be late-May or early-June. This will thus leave time for preparation over the next two meetings for the July 17 DCFPC retreat. The format and scope of that retreat, including inclusion of partners and community members, has not been finalized.
    3. Vote on new food system graphic  
      1. The group reviewed a series of 6 food system graphics, to be the new conceptual image the DCFPC uses to discuss the food system in the community. The update has two purposes—1, to align the design with the new look in development for the assessment and plan; 2, to introduce system “influences” on the outer ring, adding to the “supply chain” system previously used by the council since its creation.
      2. General design comments included:
        1. Preference for words within the graphics
        2. Wording not set against white background
        3. Larger words
        4. Words not written upside down
        5. Eliminated number 3 (top of page 2) and expressed general preference for number 2 (bottom page 10 and number 5 (top page 3).
      3. Directed staff to finalize design drawing upon the comments expressed, particularly graphics 2 and 5.
    4. Vote to direct staff to finalize plan and prepare for Commissioner adoption.
      1. Helen clarified that the accompanying document of community-generated local food definitions was an aggregation of all the food system plan focus groups that took place in summer/fall 2016. She hopes to work with the designer to integrate some of them creatively into the document.
      2. Motion to approve made by Humphrey; seconded by Steinle—All approved!
      3. Staff surprised the group with a celebration cake for all the hard work of making the food system plan over the last year. It was very tasty. J

 

  1. Lawrence Farmers Market Support Letter (Amanda Cook)
    1. Amanda Cook, Board President for the Lawrence Farmers Market, presented briefly to the DCFPC about recent conversations with Lawrence Parks & Rec Assistant Director Mark Hecker. Last year and this year, Hecker has included a future budget request for a shared-use farmers market pavilion in Downtown. This is a called the Capital Improvement Plan, a 5-year planning budget for high-cost items. Helen coordinated with Amanda to present a general letter of support for this future city expenditure, drawing upon Recommendation 10 in the SCALE, Inc. farmers’ market sector report that came out in January as part of the USDA Farmers’ Market Promotion Program grant the Council received. Recommendation 10 encouraged a collaborative working group to improve the market’s facilities and establish a permanent location. The letter highlighted in particular the encouragement of an open and transparent process and that the Council was not taking a position concerning the market’s location. Helen and Amanda also shared that a Downtown Master Plan for Lawrence has been identified as a strategic priority for the City, likely to commence in the coming year, which City leaders have expressed support for aligning with this market conversation.
    2. Marlin pointed out to the group that the letter also offers some future activities on part of the Council. He also noted two small typos that Helen will change.
    3. Helen clarified that this specific letter of support is coming now because the City of Lawrence may vote on the CIP budget in advance of the next Council meeting. Because this will be a process with many moving pieces, it was an opportunity to lend support to the Parks & Rec budget line item request, and provide additional context about the SCALE report, and how the City’s process can be optimally transparent and mutually beneficial for the City, LFM Board and vendors, and the community.
    4. Vesecky made a motion to approve; seconded by Peterson—all approved.  

 

  1. Double Up Food Bucks Update (Eileen Horn)
    1. Horn, Sustainability Director for Lawrence & Douglas County, provided an update about the Double Up Food Bucks program, originally created in 2014 by LiveWell Lawrence and the DCFPC. Last year Douglas County partnered on a $5.8 million USDA Food Incentive Nutrition Initiative grant to expand the local program operated out of Douglas County into a bi-state collaboration in Kansas and Missouri, with national partner Fair Food Network. Rachel Myslivy was hired to oversee Eastern Kansas. Unfortunately, the collaborative demanded much more grant reporting that originally anticipated. Rachel recently stepped down from the position (returning to the Climate and Energy Project)  and the project partners are working to reconfigure the work for the final two years of the project, separating the project coordination and outreach from the grant reporting responsibilities. Douglas County will remain a partner, but the position will likely be directly administered by Fair Food Network. The final details for the replacement role are being determined at the moment. Overall, this will be a positive change for the future of Double Up, and should lead to little impact on the side of the farmers’ markets and DUFB shoppers.

 

  1. State Policy Update (Ashley Jones-Wisner)
    1. Sub or Senate Bill 95 passed the House on final action, 121 to 4, and was signed last week by Governor Brownback. This is the bill that will make it easier for agencies and community groups to assist residents when enrolling in public food assistance programs, including food stamps (SNAP) and TANF (temporary assistance for needy families). In particular, it allows third-party groups like Harvesters to accept voice signatures when assisting residents applying for public benefits. This is a change from the new requirements included in the 2015 HOPE Act.  
    2. Sales Tax on Food
      1. Various tax bills have included reductions in sales tax on food, which it seems is being used as a bargaining chip of sorts in the greater tax conversations occurring. It seems there is hope that whatever tax bill finally passes at the end of session will contain some level of reduction for the statewide sales tax on food. Ashley will continue to keep the group informed as to developments.

 

  1. Subcommittee Reports
    1. City (Aundrea Shafer)
      1. A Common Ground community garden leader is partnering with Lawrence Transition for a pilot Bus Stop Garden Plot @ 11th and Haskell
      2. Another community gardener is working with the group and Just Food to re-establish a “Plant a Row for the Hungry” program, to connect gardeners and pantry for fresh food donations.
      3. The group discussed what in the plan their most excited about, with common interests in reducing the food desert and food waste.  
    2. County (Jen Humphrey)
      1. The group discussed the food system plan, which items they’re excited about for next projects. They determined that they would wait until the July retreat to set new subcommittee priorities.
    3. Community (Kim Criner)
      1. The group discussed what they’re excited about, and that the prioritization process will not take place at the Subcommittee level, as subcommittees may change after the July retreat.
      2. The group will soon return to the CSA Toolkit Update to finalize and distribute late summer.
      3. TK shared that the new local food wholesale directory has been finalized (digital version is up online; hardcopies being printed). Merchants is hosting a “release” happy hour for area chefs Monday, April 24.

 

  1. FPC Member Updates
  • Eileen Horn – Common Ground update. 10 plots this year, with a new online sign up form. Eileen has had 45 new gardeners contact her through the new form. The Just Food plot has openings still.
    • The incubator farm, our 5-acre property North of Lawrence, will see some transition this year. Mellowfields “graduated” and bought their farms. Other growers moving out of state. Openings for larger-scale gardeners. Will be in cover crop if not filled.
  • Ashley Jones-Wisner
    • All are invited to the KC Healthy Kids, Greater KC Food Policy Coalition Spring Luncheon! (focus will be the Farm Bill). DCPFC has covered registration for members in the past.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m

Lidia's Kansas City

101 W 22nd St
Kansas City, MO 64108

  • May 2 @ 5pm – 5K Run/Walk Fundraiser hosted by KC Healthy Kids, at Capital in Topeka, with legislators. All are welcome to sigm up. Ashley will send more information.
  • Jill Elmers
    • Puddles and Planting
    • The Food Hub, Fresh Farm HQ, is looking for a new Director. Their director has to step down for personal information. 14 farmer-members in the Cooperative Association. Will still accept applications. Formed 1.5 years ago, idea is to aggregate and distribute food on the wholesale level. Grew out of FPC work here and locally.
  • Kim Criner
    • KU will soon be re-selling Tulip Bulbs—around 10,000 –to raise funds for the Prairie Acre. Will likely occur early next week. Kim will share.
  • Michael Showalter
    • Bicycle Parade at Earth Day Parade, Saturday, April 22. All ages welcome to bicycle with the Health Dept. in the parade.
    • The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department completed application for Kansas Department of Health and Environment Chronic Disease Risk Reduction grant, which included funding to conduct a baseline assessment of food waste at Douglas County universities.
    • LDHCD overseeing a grant to support summer and after school meal expansion in Lawrence. Sites for 2017 were just announced—Michael will send out. Hoping to kick off after school meals at 10 schools next fall.
  • Connie Fitzpactrick
    • Through the Lawrence Makerspace, Connie is involved with a Women of Color Makers group. They are establishing a garden with Common Ground. Looking to grow tomatillos—need plants, growing support. Marlin recommended Tom Buller (see below).
  • Marlin Bates
    • Announced that Tom Buller has been hired as the K-State Research & Extension—Douglas County Horticulture Agent.
    • K-State is hiring a Food Safety Extension Associate—funding from Department of Agriculture—to work with KS Fresh Fruit & Veg producers. The hired staff will work out of Olathe offices to work across the state and support compliance with federal Food Safety Modernization Act. Marlin has shared the position announcement.
  1. Public Input
  • Emily Hampton: Saturday, April 22, from 1pm to 4pm @ the Sunrise Project site (1501 Leonard in Lawrence) will be selling Certified Organic transplants—herbs, kale, lettuce, etc. Second sale will happen May 6 from 1pm to 4pm. Native plants. Grand opening at Sunrise site will be June 17 – 5pm to 8pm.
  • Jeanette Blackmar – Chamber of Commerce Director for Baldwin City.
    • Welcomed and thanked everyone for coming to Baldwin.
    • Earth Day—Wine Fest in Baldwin City from 4pm to 8pm. Local wineries, local art, music. Collaborating with The Light Center fiber tour earlier in the day from 10am to 2pm – sustainably farmed luxurious fibers: Farm to Fiber.
    • Jeanette began her position last June. She shared that they’re seeing a culture shift in Baldwin, emphasizing the Chamber as a vehicle to create change via economic vitality, with an outcome of enhancing quality of life. Starting new holistic wellbeing program that will be an 8 week session this summer. Working to integrate wellness into City policy, too.
    • Helen nudged Jeanette who shared that she wrote masters’ thesis on Food Policy Councils. Jeanette also shared that she’s interested in reaching out to area farmers as part of the Chamber’s work.

 

  1. Adjourn: Elmers, Criner—All approved.