by Christine Smith, Southcoast Food Policy Council Program Manager
Since last September, we have been meeting monthly with our inaugural CAB members to develop and implement the foundational structure of the SFPC that will define our policy council for years to come. The SFPC’s 30-member Community Advisory Board (CAB) consists of stakeholders from different sectors of the food system and represents towns across the region from Fall River to Plymouth.
To create a food policy council rooted in equity and inclusion, we partnered with the YWCA of Southeastern MA to develop a Food Equity Training that will be used as a guide and resource for our CAB and SFPC members-at-large. (Click on the video at left for a short sample of the training). Similar to food systems, food justice issues are complex. Structural racism has negatively impacted policies, access, and participation in the food system for far too long. Understanding and centering these issues is critical to building a resilient, regional food system that benefits everyone. As we solidify working groups and priority issues, participation in the Food Equity Training will be a requirement for all new SFPC members that engage with us in this work.
Beginning in 2022, we began holding SFPC Quarterly meetings that were open open to the public. During our January meeting, we presented the key takeaways from the 2021 Southcoast Food System Assessment and gave general updates on the SFPC and the Community Advisory Board’s work to date. Our next Quarterly meeting is April 14, 12 noon-1pm. Go to this link for more details. https://www.marioninstitute.org/programs/sfpc/meetings/