Food Policy Council: Knoxville and Knox County, Tenn.
Created in 1982, the Knoxville-Knox County food policy council (FPC) is the oldest in the country. Based on recommendations from a study conducted by the University of Tennessee, the City of Knoxville became one of the first local governments to acknowledge their responsibility in food planning and security. Today, the Knoxville-Knox County FPC plays a critical role in shaping how food-related issues are addressed by local government, residents, non-profit organizations and schools. In the past thirty years, the FPC has been instrumental in creating change — institutionally and on-the-ground — across a range of food-related issues including access, distribution, food security, and awareness.
“Food policy councils offer communities an opportunity to address food systems issues just as transportation, utilities, and other basic community infrastructure issues are addressed.”
-Stephanie Welch, Knox County Health Department
- Creating a food policy council is a proactive method of engaging residents, local government leaders and issue experts to address food issues critical to the health of the community.
- Building partnerships with educational, non-profit, public health and faith–based institutions can increase food policy councils’ capacity to address food-related issues and have been shown effective in building support, awareness and engaging a range of stakeholders.
- Partnering with surrounding cities and counties can build capacity and expertise of Councils while positioning food systems as an issue of regional importance.
- Creating a summary document that is easy to understand and visually engaging can be an effective advocacy tool to convey important messages to a range of audiences.
For More Information
Director of Community Development and Planning, Knox County Health Department