Food policy council works to collaborate, make change

Matt Rose/Carolina Public Press

ASHEVILLE—The first general council session of the Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council met Monday, but ideas for how this group should tackle food insecurity have germinated for nearly a year.

And, now, its work takes on increased significance, as research released this week showed that more people in the Asheville area are struggling to get enough nutritious, affordable food.

The 18 representatives from the Food Policy Council’s nine working groups discussed a range of proposals, including a measure supporting the statewide 10% Campaign at Tuesday’s Asheville City Council meeting. The campaign, an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, advocates that governments spend 10 percent of food budget dollars locally. Council unanimously approved the effort on Tuesday.

It’s just the latest activity for the all-volunteer Food Policy Council, which started forming last year after the Washington, D.C.-based Food Research and Action Center released a national study then ranking the Asheville area the seventh-worst metropolitan statistical area in the nation for food insecurity….

Read More from Carolina Public Press.

City Council signs off on more fresh food markets, affordable housing loans

Peppers

In a shorter-than-usual Asheville City Council meeting, fresh food markets in residential neighborhoods got the go-ahead, as did over $400,000 in affordable housing trust fund loans to two projects.

Council agreed on a series of development ordinance changes, the most talked-about being allowances for fresh food markets in residential neighborhoods. The rule allows such markets on institutional properties such as churches, schools or community centers. The changes passed unanimously, and proponents stated that they would open up the opportunity for healthier food to new areas…

Read More from the Mountain Xpress.

Katie Souris on Food Policy Council’s progress

broccoli

An account of the Food Policy Council’s workings, from Katie Souris:

Asheville’s new Food Policy Council is leaving the mall with a brand new pair of pants, and it will be wearing them around town for a few months (come on, we’ve all been guilty of it) to see how they fit.

The fledgling FPC has been a legitimate mall of sorts up until now; interested parties from all backgrounds and missions convening in UNCA’s Sherrill Center to discuss, hash out, deliberate, and ultimately dynamically agree what this web should support. Through a trial run of Dynamic Governance in action we decided that this mode of decision making would govern the 7 clusters that are taking shape out of the large group.

The third and final FPC meeting was geared to establish how many representatives each cluster would send to a central circle and how many and what those clusters would be. This was no easy task since as I mentioned we were also charged to decide on a way to decide. That success is arguably the most important thing to come from our meeting, as Dynamic Governance (a new concept to many of us more familiar with Consensus or shouting modes of decision making), could enable our Council to make….progress, consistently, and to work together, listening to all voices at the table. Accomplishing what has been repeated as the goal of inclusivity and representation of the under-represented….

Read More from the Mountain Xpress.

 

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