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Food Policy Council (FPC) Meeting on Mon, July 16, 2018 - 6:30 PM

Meeting Agenda: 
  1. Action Item: Administrative Items
    1. Determine quorum of members, agenda approval
    2. Approval of June meeting minutes
    3. Budget overview
  2. Discussion Item: 2017 Retreat à Review one year later
  3. Action Items: 2018 Food System Plan, Full Council Policy Priorities
Goal 4, Objective 2 (Expand City- and County-led initiatives to make food more affordable)
4.2.1: Reduce and eliminate the sales tax on groceries
Goal 1, Objective 3 (Increase local food purchasing)
1.3.1: Invest in signage, shared infrastructure, and coordinated marketing to support Douglas County farmers markets
  1. Action Item: Food System Plan Implementation Next Steps
    1. Meeting / agenda structure
    2. Council communications
    3. Council bylaw review  
  2. Discussion Item: Working Groups  
  3. FPC Member Updates
  4. Adjourn
     
    **Next Meeting: August 20, 2018 – Sunrise Project – 1501 Learnard Ave Lawrence, KS 66044
Meeting Location: 
Flory Meeting Hall
Street Address: 
2120 Harper St, Lawrence, KS 66046, USA
Meeting Minutes: 

In attendance: Marlin Bates, Camille Eichorn, Tamara Cash, Ashley Jones-Wisner, Kim Criner, Inti Hirt, Elizabeth Burger, Michele Dillon, Olivia Taylor-Puckett, John Pendleton, Jill Elmers, Michael Steinle

 

Absent: Scott Thellman, William Vesecky, Lee Broyles, Joshua Falleaf, Jason Champagne, TK Peterson, Christine Ebert, Aundrea Shafer, Jennifer Kongs, Connie Fitzpatrick

 

Staff: Helen Schnoes

 

Public: Tyler Lindquist, Pantaleon Florez

 

 

  1. Action Item: Administrative Items
    1. Determine quorum of members (6:41pm), agenda approval (Eichorn, Hirt – All approved)
    2. Approval of June meeting minutes (Eichorn, Elmers—all approved)
    3. Budget overview ($4,653.35) 
      1. Health Equity Working Group’s signage for Transit ended up as just $60 ($500 was approved by Council) leaving $440 back in budget. Possible 2nd run of new signage in fall.
  2. Public Comment
    1. Bates motion to add Public Comment, Seconded by Dillon (All approved)
    2. Pantaleon Florez introduced himself. He moved back to Kansas recently and had been working in Berkeley, CA at a food access non-profit. He is a KU graduate and was very engaged with the campus community. Interested in Common Ground program and farming.

 

  1. Discussion Item: 2017 Retreat à Review one year later

Kim reminded the Council that in July 2017 it held a retreat following the adoption of the Douglas County Food System Plan by the City of Lawrence and Douglas County Commissions. At the retreat, focus groups were held with members, and an interest was raised to have more social time connected to meetings, to help build relationships. As such, this month’s meeting included a potluck and member “speed dating”, where longer-serving members had quick, 5-minute conversations with newer-members. Each shared:

  1. Name and “role” on FPC
    • What unique perspective do you bring to the food system?
  2. How long have you been on the Council?
    • An “ah ha” from the work?
    • An accomplishment?
    • What excites you?
  1. Action Items: 2018 Food System Plan, Full Council Policy Priorities 
    1. Identify “champions” to bring work forward + Next Steps

 

Goal 4, Objective 2 (Expand City- and County-led initiatives to make food more affordable)

 

Champions Identified

Inti, Ashley, Tamara, Michele (Health Equity)

Also interested: Kim, Marlin

  • Will develop possible research questions and issue observations into a presentation to the full Council in August to inform a discussion of next steps.

 

 

4.2.1: Reduce and eliminate the sales tax on groceries

  • Presentation from Sunflower Foundation on research
    • Elizabeth Burger shared about a recently published policy brief from the Tax Foundation about food policies that involve taxation. She found it had good lessons for the Council to consider.
    • Ms. Burger also provided a brief update about outcomes of a Sunflower Foundation grant to Kansas Action for Children. KAC hired a qualitative, ethnographic research firm, Topos Partnership, to understand opinions and motivations regarding on Kansas tax policies, including taxes on food. Primary results will be released soon. They show that food tax is not on most people’s radars, but many had shock when learning Kansas sales tax rate is highest in country. Concern lingers about removing taxes needed to fund government. The findings suggest that Kansans are open to a conversation about taxes.
    • Ashley Jones-Wisner shared that possible next steps will be to ask: What could messaging to greater Kansas community about taxation look like? How can legislators feel safe to discuss this issue meaningfully?
    • Ms. Jones-Wisner also shared that at the end of June, the US Supreme Court decided states can collect internet sales tax, which may have a significant impact on Kansas revenues, estimated around $113-170 million per year—and could help shift the conversation at the Kansas legislature about lowering sales tax on food.
  • KAW grant timeline for research
    • Helen shared timeline and budget for the grant submission to the Kansas Alliance for Wellness, which the Council approved in February 2018. A portion of an “Implementation Grant” was targeted to support specific research questions to guide the Council to understand next steps in advancing this policy priority.
    • After discussion on the topic, the Council decided that it needs to refine purpose and scope of the research before moving forward, in light of the previous updates about the issue in Kansas. This will be a topic at the August meeting.

Goal 1, Objective 3 (Increase local food purchasing)

 

Champions  

Jill, Ashely, Michael, Tyler, John, Olivia 

(Elizabeth, Tamara)

 

1.3.1: Invest in signage, shared infrastructure, and coordinated marketing to support Douglas County farmers markets

 

  • No key updates, but Council members at left identified as champions to carry this issue forward. This group will conduct targeted readings in advance of the next meeting.

 

  1. Action Item: Food System Plan Implementation Next Steps
    1. Meeting / agenda structure
      1. Kim proposed adding a “New Business” standing item on the Food Policy Council’s agenda, to create space for members to bring pressing community issues to the Council to consider, separate from the member updates portion. Upon discussion of other agenda formats, the Council decide to table this question.
    2. Council communications
      1. Michael, Elizabeth, Tamara, Olivia agreed to review the Douglas County Food Policy Council Communications Plan, adopted in 2016, and update in response to the Implementation Framework within the county’s Food System Plan. Work will also lift up opportunities for community messaging and engagement, which the Council started working on in fall and winter 2017. Funding from the Kansas Alliance for Wellness Capacity Grant (pending approval) will go towards new communications pieces.
      2. (Jennifer Kongs, absent, previously agreed to lead)
    3. Council bylaw review
      1. Marlin, Jill, Ashley, Kim agreed to review the Douglas County Food Policy Council bylaws, last updated in 2014, and update as appropriate as directed in the Implementation Framework within the county’s Food System Plan. The goal will be to have new bylaws, including possible changes to Council structure, approved by Council and governing bodies in advance of 2019, so changes can go into effect January 2019.

 

  1. Discussion Item: Working Groups  

 

  1. FPC Member Updates
    1. Marlin shared that the Douglas County Fair will be July 30 – August 4. The Chefs Challenge, originally created by the Food Policy Council, will be on August 2 at 7pm in the North Room of the Dreher Building. FPC member Camille Eichorn will be one of the chefs competing!

 

  1. Adjourn (Dillon, Elmers)