What is a Food Council?
A Food Council is a coalition of organizations and individuals that advocates for communities, fishermen and farmers who are hungry for more and better local foods, from farm to table and from dock to dish.
How do you do that?
We are here to provide resources and education to support locally-based community advocates. We also work with local food councils across the state to build their local food systems.
Because it impacts all of us in many ways. A thriving local food economy can help protect farmland and natural resources, and maximize the environmental, social, and economic health of a community.
Local food isn’t just about eating – although we love doing that. It’s about celebrating the bounty of products we have in North Carolina. It’s about making sure we support the farmers and farm workers who grow it, the fishermen who harvest it, the businesses that process it, and the consumers who eat it. It’s about ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table.
How Do You Do That?
Food Councils create space for community conversations about healthy food, farms and commercial fisheries, fostering communications between producers, consumers and elected officials. They educate the public about local foods and how to improve access to foods grown or harvested in different regions of the state.
Food Councils create space for community conversations about healthy food and farms, fostering communications between producers, consumers and elected officials. They educate the public about local foods and how to improve access to foods grown or harvested in different regions of the state.
Gathering Information: A Food Council works within the community to learn about and understand the challenges to creating a local food system that supports producers and consumers alike. The group consults experts who are familiar with the local landscape.
Connecting People: Once they’ve learned about community needs, they get people talking to one another about how to address them.
Educating Everyone: Not all community members will have an appetite for something new. That means it’s critical to get on board community leaders and those they serve.
Recommending Changes: Supporting and promoting local food goes beyond buying and eating it. Changing programs and policies ensures that the new system is supported at every level.
Together, these efforts do so much for local communities. They improve people’s health and food access, develop local economies and keep farmers on their land and fishermen on the water; in addition to bringing people together and promoting civic engagement.