How to Get Involved in Food Policy Councils

7 tips for local food citizens interested in organizing food policy councils.

Relationships count—cultivate them.



Be inclusive of a wide range of food system interests.



When it comes to disagreement, find common ground where you can; for all else, foster a climate of robust debate and respect for everyone’s opinion.



Educate your members, the public and policymakers about terminology like “just,” “sustainable,” and “food policy.”



Look for unusual connections such as economic development and the local food economy.



Find a champion, especially a policymaker, who will work for your cause.



Learn more about your food system by conducting food assessments, research, and ongoing information gathering.


The Community Food Security Coalition provides technical assistance and information about food policy councils. See their website at

Fresh from the City
Citizens and local policymakers join up to get fresh foods to schools and neighborhoods.

Mark Winne contributed these tips to Food for Everyone, the Spring 2009 issue of YES! Magazine. Mark is cofounder of the City of Hartford Food Policy Commission, the Connecticut Food Policy Council, End Hunger Connecticut!, and the national , and author of Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty (Beacon, 2008).

Interested? Check out the YES! Tool Kit for Activists.

Photo of Mark Winne