Food Policy Council and Director would grow the local food economy and expand access to food
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Councilmember Mary M. Cheh (D – Ward 3), author of the Healthy Schools Act, introduced a measure that would create a Food Policy Council and Director for the District. In the past few years, the District has passed important food policy legislation like the Healthy Schools Act, the Healthy Tots Act, the FEED-DC Act, and the Cottage Food Act. These acts have expanded the availability of affordable, nutritious food and have helped develop local food businesses. Having a Food Policy Council and Director would build on these successes by adopting a more comprehensive approach to food policy. The Food Policy Council and Director would grow the local food economy and expand access to food by identifying ways to reduce regulatory burdens, collecting and analyzing relevant data, engaging with other jurisdictions, and assisting participants in food ventures.
“We need a central actor in the District government to promote positive food policy,” said Cheh. “With these positions, we can better identify existing shortcomings in current policy, more effectively promote food objectives across various agencies, attract new food businesses to the District, and better engage with other jurisdictions. A Food Policy Council and Director is the most efficient structure for achieving these goals.”
Cheh’s legislation recognizes the importance of a uniform approach to a policy area that has become increasing complex. Food Policy Councilmembers and the Food Policy Director would be community members and business leaders with expertise in issues of food access and development. Together, they would build what has already been accomplished and allow the District to continue developing and implementing progressive food policy to benefit all residents.