Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future’s (CLF) mission is to “promote research and to develop and communicate information about the complex interrelationships among diet, food production, environment and human health, to advance an ecological perspective in reducing threats to the health of the public and to promote policies that protect health, the global environment and the ability to sustain life for future generations.”
The Center was created in 1996 by Dr. Robert Lawrence who describes his vision by saying, “to me, a livable future is when the resources available to support a healthy ecosystem are in balance with the resources needed by current and future generations.” With this framework in mind, CLF’s Food Policy Networks (FPN) offers practical resources to food policy advocates.
FPN offers multiple examples of how to engage, promote and sustain change throughout the food system by “support[ing] the development of effective and robust food policy at the state and local levels by working with existing food policy councils, national organizations and other interested groups.” To that end, FPN highlights information from food policy advocates from across the country, listing over two dozen resources and toolkits for everything from influencing policy, locating funding sources, community and economic development and establishing metrics are available. Examples of resolutions, bylaws, zoning ordinances, and various other legal documents from emerging and established food policy advocacy groups are also available.
Dr. Roni Neff, Director of the Food System Sustainability and Public Health programs gives insight into the complex systemic and societal causes of food waste, food insecurity, hunger and obesity by saying, “in our society we focus so much on the individual, but a big part of what led me into this field was the desire to focus on system, policy, and unexamined cultural contributions to public health programs.” By creating a go-to spot for resources and links to others working on food policy, FPN is helping to link the grassroots efforts of policy work.