The Tennessee Food Policy Council (TFPC) formally began in 2012 as a project of the Tennessee Clean Water Network. Renee V. Hoyos, Executive Director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network, says the establishment became involved because, “We think food and water are intricately linked. We need clean water to make clean food. In 2010, the Tennessee Obesity Task Force, in a report called Eat Well, Play More, recommended that a statewide food policy council be created to build support for healthy eating and environmental change. We wrote a grant for funds from the State of Tennessee Department of Health to create the Tennessee Food Policy Council.”
Fiona McAnally, a Plant Sciences graduate student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, has been named Coordinator of the Tennessee Food Policy Council. McAnally’s academic research areas include agriculture history, home gardens, and heirloom vegetables. McAnally says, “The Council is made up of individuals and organizations across the state – in public health, agriculture, education, and more.”
After McAnally met with five regional focus groups throughout the state of Tennessee in December 2012, the Tennessee Food Policy Council convened with a statewide session in Nashville with over 30 attendees representing various health departments, food advocates, schools, community gardens, and mobile markets. An Advisory Board and governance documents were created for the Council. During the next few months, the Council plans to launch a website, e-newsletter, and membership program. McAnally says the Council also plans to explore the development of multi-county rural food policy councils in the state and to develop a policy platform.”
Renee Hoyos notes that the Tennessee Food Policy Council’s grant expires in July 2013. Hoyos says, “We are actively seeking more funding to do more food policy work.” McAnally hopes to continue this important work through continued grant support, memberships, and other forms of support. “I think the growing interest in local food and our food systems is here to stay and will only increase with time, and it will change the way we look at food production, distribution, access, and consumption.”
Copr., Debra Dylan, 2013.