The DC Food Policy Council (FPC) is a coalition of food leaders and government representatives appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser to drive policy towards a more equitable, healthy, and sustainable food system in the District.
The FPC was established through the DC Food Policy Council and Director Establishment Act of 2014 (“the FPC Act”) as the result of advocacy by residents engaged in food and agriculture work, and with the goal of implementing the goals in the original Sustainable DC Plan. The FPC was inspired by the many people around the county and world working to increase food access, security, and sovereignty by strengthening and revitalizing local food systems and economies. Local advocates called for a central convening body and Food Policy Director within government to bring together the many communities and District agencies that had been working on food issues for many years.
The FPC Act enumerates the following duties for the FPC:
- Promote food access, food sustainability, and a local food economy, including non-mainstream producers, in the District;
- Monitor regulatory barriers to the development of a local food economy, including barriers to the operations of farmers markets, existing food assets in the local food economy, and job creation potential in the local food economy;
- Collect and analyze data on the local food economy and food access in the District, including an assessment of food deserts;
- Monitor and research national best practices in food policy, including public health policy for dietary-related illness, and determine how they could be implemented in the District.
- Advise the Food Policy Director on how to promote food access, food sustainability, and a local food economy in the District, how to reduce regulatory barriers to the development of a local food economy, and how to implement national best practices in food policy in the District.
- Provide an annual report to the Council of the District of Columbia on the state of the local food economy and food access across the District.
- May apply for any federal, public, or private grant or funding that would enhance its ability to improve food policy and equity in the District.
The FPC Act outlines these requirements for membership:
The DC Food Policy Council includes 13 appointed members who represent established public, nonprofit, and for-profit entities and organizations involved in the local food economy or food access in the District. Members will provide expertise in one or more local food-related issues such as agriculture, food security and access, nutrition, food business and industrial practices, food education and research, land use and urban food production and distribution.
Members are recruited by the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Appointments (MOTA) and must be confirmed by the DC Council. Members may serve 2 three year terms. To express interest in joining the Food Policy Council, please share your credentials on the MOTA website.