Community Development Diversity Food Deserts Hunger Policy Poverty

Breakout Session on Food Policy Councils

Marla Camp of Edible Austin talked about forming a Sustainable Food Policy Board in Austin. There was a lot of helpful thoughts and ideas, things to keep in mind. The thing that continues to bother me about this conversation is the lack of inclusion of what someone in the session called “disadvantaged consumers.” There are members of the Food Policy Board from Edible Austin, The Sustainable Food Center and others that claim to represent “disadvantaged consumers” on the board. However, they themselves are not disadvantaged and from what I can tell are not people of color.

Marla mentioned that the communities of need are often not communities of interest in her experience. I can imagine that is certainly true, but not a good reason not to pursue better diversity and inclusion of the people that policies affect directly and deal with hunger daily. This gap seems to me one of the biggest barriers in making food and sustainability more than an issue of the privileged elites.

Any ideas? How do we educate those most disadvantaged by our food system to advocate for themselves and see this as an important issue in their community?

2 comments on “Breakout Session on Food Policy Councils

  1. Very good questions and looking forward to responses that might help us with this challenge. There are persons of color on our board and collectively we have had many discussions on how we can be more inclusive and reach more people in the “disadvantaged” community referred to, which is why we’ll continue to hold key board meetings in public places within this community at times more people could more easily attend and will continue to post flyers, etc. in libraries and community centers to try to get input. This is also why we want to do a community food assessment. I never said that this community wasn’t of interest, quite the contrary. The challenge is in engaging communities in need in the work we hope to be doing.


  2. thanks for the clarification marla.


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