Southcoast Food Policy Council Working Groups
CapacityBuilding Working Group
The Southcoast Food Policy Council is a coalition of nearly 400 community partners representing farmers, fishermen, food pantry leaders, churches, social service agencies, schools, institutional buyers, and a diverse group of partner organizations throughout the Southcoast of Massachusetts from Plymouth to Fall River.
We envision a thriving, inclusive, and culturally-diverse regional food system in which we all benefit from healthful, accessible, and affordable foods. Our mission is to connect, convene, and advocate for local food producers, consumers, and community partners who seek to generate policies and practices that strengthen our regional food system, enhance food security, and promote health equity.
Primary research from the 2021 Food System Assessment indicated that more local food processing and distribution capacity is still needed in Southeastern MA. During the pandemic, many food pantries, restaurants, churches, social service agencies, and non-profits stepped forward to meet the needs of residents with limited access to healthy, nutritious foods. Lessons learned included the need for more storage capacity, pre-made meals, mobile farm markets, and more points of access.
The SFPC Community Advisory Board, comprised of 25+ food system stakeholders, along with the Food Equity Advisors (people with lived experience of food insecurity), will ensure plans and advocacy actions taken are community-driven and outcome-based to benefit the entire region equitably and sustainably.
The Southcoast Food Policy Council Capacity Building Working Group is focused on building the physical infrastructure and networking capacity to create a regional Food System in Southeastern MA.
Short-term goals include:
- Identify and convene stakeholders to identify and cultivate food-related assets and value-chain intermediaries.
- Identify and support pilot projects that establish the infrastructure for a food-focused ecosystem.
- Collaborate with Black Earth Compost to establish composting routes and a potential compost site in Southeastern MA.
- Convene and work with commercial enterprises to help divert organic waste to food relief programs and/or composting.
- Hire a consultant to create a business plan for the Food Innovation District.
- Collaborate with the MA Department of Agriculture to access their research on storage and refrigerated spaces in the region to support the increase of infrastructure for emergency food relief providers.
- Build a network and work with accompanying health departments to support access to local foods by increasing the number of mobile and farmers markets in our region.
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