Supporting the Local Food System

Franklin County, Ohio

According to the American Planning Association (APA), an increasing number of towns, cities, and states are making an effort to create food policy councils, or FPCs, to help local governments address such issues as food deserts, childhood obesity, loss of prime agricultural lands, and environmental issues. Concerned about similar issues in her local area, Franklin County Local Food Council (FCLFC) member Caitlin Marquis reached out to ChangeLab Solutions for help.

Considering their Options

The volunteer-run FCLFC spent several months performing a comprehensive audit of the county’s existing food policies and programs before approaching their county commissioners to consider a passing resolution that would convey dedication to a strong food system.  ChangeLab Solutions’ staff sent her our Model Healthy Food System Resolution, as well as existing successful resolutions based on that model. With these resources, the FCLFC was able to draft a resolution unique to the needs of Franklin County.

A Successful Outcome

This past October, the FCLFC achieved a great success when the Franklin County Board of Commissioners passed resolution #809-13, in support of the local food system. Resolution #809-13 enhances the Board of Commissioners’ commitment to “continue its efforts to increase residents’ access to healthy affordable food,” and “consider impacts to the local food system” when making any decisions about county operations, growth management, and economic development.

“There is already a lot of local buzz about what the next steps should be now that this groundwork is laid,” Caitlin said. “The really exciting thing is that it is not just our food council who sees this as an opportunity… a number of groups are convening locally around food issues to pursue their work in an environment where that work is now formally supported by their local government.”

Check out ChangeLab Solutions’ model healthy food resolution, as well as our other resources designed to create healthier food environments in communities everywhere.

Photo credit: Franklin County Local Food Council

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