Across the United States and Canada, new local and state food policy organizations are working to improve health, sustainability, and community resilience through effective public policies. According to the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) Food Policy Networks (FPN) project, over 250 food policy councils have appeared in North America over the past several years. The FPN project, which seeks to enhance and amplify the efforts of these organizations through a national network, is currently hosting a photo contest to build a vision of food policy in the United States.
“Food policy can be a vague idea for the uninitiated,” says Anne Palmer, Program Director of the Food Communities & Public Health Program at the CLF. “We hope this contest will encourage local and state food policy leaders throughout the country to creatively capture and share the process and impact of their work.”
The contest is soliciting photos of diverse policy council membership, the policy process or advocacy in action, and policy outcomes. Changes in food procurement, urban agriculture codes, and access to healthy food in cities are some of the areas that food policy councils seek to address through policy at the local and state levels, according to the FPN.
The CLF will award nine cash prizes across three categories, and one honorable mention in each category will receive a copy of a CLF textbook on the U.S. Food System. The contest deadline for submissions is July 31, 2015.
The FPN has developed many other services for food policymakers, including direct technical assistance, professional networking opportunities, and training workshops. A listserv is available for interested stakeholders, and the project also hosts webinars and maintains a directory of food policy groups.