Verde Valley Food Policy Council

FOOD POLICY COUNCILS

Starting in the 1980’s, nonprofit, municipal, county, regional and state groups formed more than 250 food policy councils in America to improve their food systems by increasing the health quality of foods in supermarkets, the economic status of food producers, the accessibility and affordability of food for growing numbers of food-insecure persons, and preservation of arable land, water, and the natural environment.

ORGANIZATION

In response to its study of the Yavapai County Food System, Cornucopia Community Advocates presented a one-day Food System workshop at Yavapai College on October 23, 2019 to identify food system needs, barriers, and calls for improvement for the Verde Valley.

Co-sponsors of the workshop included the Arizona Department of Agriculture, the Arizona Hunger Advisory Council to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Arizona Public Service, the Arizona Farm Bureau, and the Arizona Food Bank Network.

The 30 participants consisted of farmers, ranchers, city officials, county health officials, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, and nonprofits engaged in the food system. They saw a need for communication, coordination, and collaborative planning among the siloed sectors. They generated 144 recommended action steps.

FOOD COUNCIL MEMBERS

Nine participants chose to become members of the Food Policy Council and meet monthly to develop a Verde Valley Food System Improvement Action Plan, with Cornucopia acting as a nonprofit sponsor and staff for the Council.

FOOD SYSTEM SECTORS

The circular diagram above represents five interactive sectors of our regional food system.

ACTION PLAN

This living document does not sit on a shelf gathering dust! Council members are working to implement its goals and action steps each month and adding important data about our regional food system.

MAJOR GOAL AREAS

  1. GETTING FOOD
  2. GROWING AND PROCESSING FOOD
  3. LEARNING ABOUT FOOD.

MONTHLY PROGRESS REPORTS

Council members and advisory board members present monthly reports that are compiled into composite reports for the Council. By making our actions transparent, we encourage engagement, dialogue and collaboration with related organizations. These reports reflect what we are learning. They announce new community resources, changes in policy, and legislation.