For two years, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, Columbus City Council, Columbus Public Health, Franklin County Economic Development and Planning, Local Matters and more than 1,000 residents have worked to develop a Local Food Action Plan (LFAP) designed to improve residents’ access to quality, nutritious, affordable food.
The effort, led by Board of Commissioners President John O’Grady and Council President Pro Tempore Priscilla Tyson addresses the underlying social issues of poverty, underemployment and unemployment that contribute to food inequality.
“Access to quality, local food is good for our residents’ health and their bottom line,” said O’Grady. “And the local food system supports nearly 100,000 jobs in our community, from production and distribution to sales and preparation.”
Later today, Columbus City Council will present a resolution to support the Local Food Action Plan. The Franklin County Board of Commissioners is expected to pass a similar resolution tomorrow.
“Increasing our residents’ access to healthy food is the key to maintaining a high quality of life, and it is the building block for a stronger community,” said Tyson.
Nearly one in five children in Columbus is food insecure and more likely to experience chronic disease. Additionally, less than twenty-five percent of adults in Franklin County report consuming the recommended servings of five or more fruits and vegetables a day.
“Everyone who is invested in healthy and local food access, education, production and business now has a focused plan to accomplish those goals together,” said Executive Director of Local Matters Michelle Moskowitz Brown.
Highlights of the Local Food Action Plan include plans to:
- Improve how people access food, grow food and prevent food waste;
- Increase the availability and affordability of healthy and local food while teaching people convenient and healthy ways to feed themselves and their families;
- Support a stronger market for local food businesses, creating jobs and fostering community revitalization;
- Bolster food waste prevention efforts and supporting strategies that decrease the amount of food-related waste going to local landfills.
A joint County/Council Local Food Team, along with an advisory board, will be formed to guide the plan’s implementation. In addition to overseeing its implementation, it will issue annual progress reports and updates. The Franklin County Local Food Council will also play a key role in the implementation, keeping the community connected to the team and the advisory board.
More than 1,000 residents and stakeholders participated in the plan’s development through seven community-level food planning meetings, stakeholder interviews, surveys and eleven public feedback sessions.
To view the Local Food Action Plan and learn more, visit https://www.columbus.gov/LFAP/.