As interns at the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC), we have many opportunities to connect with innovative leaders and participate in exciting events in the foods system in Boston and beyond. Even so, presenting at the quarterly meeting of the Boston Food Policy Council is not an everyday occurrence. It is, however, one of the unique experiences I have had during my summer at FLPC.
On June 15, the Mayor’s Office of Food Initiatives (OFI) convened the quarterly public meeting of the Boston Food Policy Council. People from across many sectors and interests participated in the meeting, including representatives from city government, non-profit, USDA, health care, private foundations, urban agriculture, school food, youth empowerment, and food waste recovery. It was my privilege to present to the assembled group about model structures for local food policy councils (FPCs).
FLPC has worked with OFI on past projects on a range of themes including food trucks and urban agriculture. This meeting was a continuation of FLPC’s support of Boston Food Policy Council’s while it defines its major policy areas and potential advocacy options. At the Boston Food Policy Council’s March 9 meeting, FLPC staff presented an overview of food policy issue areas from FPCs around the country. In small groups, meeting participants discussed food challenges facing the city of Boston and then voiced their main policy priorities to the entire group. FLPC staff and interns distilled these issues into six areas of interest, including the hot topics of access to healthy and affordable foods in underserved neighborhoods and consumer participation in Boston Farmers Markets.
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