Background


hogsThe Clark County Food System Council was formed in August 2007 as a citizen advisory board.  The Council is comprised of individuals from many sectors of the community food system that come together around common interests and beliefs about a healthy sustaiinable food system for Clark County.  Council formation is sponsored by Community Chouices and Steps to a Healthier Clark County Access to Healthy Foods Team and is also supported by Clark County Public Health.

In 2003, Community Choices released the Clark County Community Report Cad which revealed a high percentage of overweight, obesity, and diabetes among Clark County residents. To address these issues, Community Choices convened partners to apply for a Steps to a Healthier US grant coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant was awarded and the Steps to a Healthier Clark County Initiative (Steps) began. The focus of the grant is to reduce rates of overweight, obesity, diabetes, and asthma by increasing access to physical activity, healthy food, and smoke free environments.

Creating a community environment that ensures a sustainable supply of healthy food (and related morbidity and mortality.) With this in mind, Steps convened a community workshop in 2006 entitled “Healthy Food Forecast: What is Your Role?” at which participants discussed the health, safety and sustainability of our regional food supply and considered the feasibility of a local food policy council.

Workshop attendees supported the concept of creating a local food policy council which would provide advice and guidance to local policy makers regarding gaps in the local food system and potential solutions.

Steps responded by creating a Food Policy Team. The Team researched the topic and considered models from other states, drafted a framework for a Food Policy Council, and presented this information to Clark County Public Health. Clark County Public Health made a commitment to house the Clark County Food System Council and fund a staff person to support efforts when the Steps grant ends in September, 2008.

The Clark County Food System Council formed in August 2007. The council’s 20 active members represent health, nutrition and education, food security, resource conservation, agriculture, distribution and manufacturing, and the community. The Council currently meets on the forth Thursday of each month from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. The meetings are open to the public.

Meeting locations rotate, so for information about meeting locations or more information about the council please contact Theresa Cross, 360-397-8000 ext 7378, theresa.cross@clark.wa.gov or Melissa Martin