For the last few months, I’ve been really excited to be working with some folks in the community towards forming a food policy council for our city and county. This is the continuation of work that I’ve been doing in the community gardening realm for over 12 years now, and it feels like a culmination of many years of work among many people and groups. I feel really grateful about the critical mass of individuals in our community who realize that a true foodtopia (as the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau calls us) is one in which ALL people have access to affordable, nutritious, culturally appropriate food, not just those that can afford dinner at a farm-to-table restaurant. A true foodtopia is also one in which the food supply is local and sustainable, which makes us more self-reliant as a community. (this is referred to by the term Food Sovereignty).
The process we went through this summer led to the creation of a White Paper that makes a recommendation for a Food Policy Council. I and City Councilman Gordon Smith will be presenting this paper at two different venues in September: on the 16th as a part of the Eat Smart, Move More conference on the campus of UNCA, and at the Burton Street Agricultural Fair taking place on September 24th. We hope you will join in the conversation, and lend your voice to help form a cohesive way forward in regards to poverty, public health, local commerce, and sustainability through food security.