Summary of Public Input for Maryland’s First Food Charter Released
For Immediate Release: November 7, 2016
Contact: Evelyn Kelly, 202-407-7086 [email protected]
Washington, D.C. – The Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI) released Creating Maryland’s Food Charter: A Summary of Public Input, a document that summarizes the results of a 10-month public process to develop content for Maryland’s first Food Charter. The document includes input from hundreds of food policy stakeholders from across the state’s five main regions (Western, Capital, Central, Southern and the Eastern Shore).
Many organizations and food coalitions throughout Maryland are working on issues ranging from urban agriculture to food recovery. Although much of their work may interconnect, they are often operating in isolation simply because much of the work is done at the local level without a state-wide lens. Accordingly, IPHI and a diverse group of stakeholders have been working to foster collaboration and collective action at the state level for a healthy, just, and sustainable food system in Maryland.
“The public input process was the first step towards developing the Food Charter, which will be a living document that unites food system stakeholders around collective values and goals,” said Evelyn Kelly, Senior Program Manager with the Institute for Public Health Innovation. “Ultimately, we want to create an awareness of the different components of the food system and spur collective action to make impactful changes in the area of food policy.”
In 2014, IPHI began a state-wide effort to listen to concerns from all over the state with regards to the Maryland food system. During the first phase of the project, IPHI conducted a series of regional convenings combined with a needs and asset assessment that produced community-led action steps and recommendations to create an optimal food system. Guiding the planning, implementation, and evaluation of this initiative is an Advisory Committee composed of eight members that represent multiple food system sectors and interests.
“Over the past few years, we have seen a consistent increase in the number of states with food policy councils or networks across the country, so Maryland is in good company in its effort bring these stakeholders together,” said Anne Palmer, Program Director of the Food Communities & Public Health Program within the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and Advisory Committee member to the Initiative.
For the second phase, IPHI plans to finalize the Food Charter to engage and enhance awareness of policy makers in the food system. The Maryland Food Charter will be released in Spring 2017. This initiative was made possible through a grant awarded by the Town Creek Foundation. To learn more about the Food Charter or to provide input regarding the preliminary goals and strategies, visit www.institutephi.org/mdfoodcharter.
A PDF of this press release can be accessed here.
About Institute for Public Health Innovation
IPHI creates partnerships across sectors and cultivates innovative solutions that improve health and well-being for all populations and communities across the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, particularly those most affected by health inequities. IPHI’s work enhances the environments and conditions in which people live, age, work, learn, and play; strengthens health service systems and public policy; and builds organizational and community capacity to sustain progress. IPHI is one of 44 public health institutes across the country and a member of the National Network of Public Health Institutes. For more information on IPHI, see www.institutephi.org, and follow IPHI on Facebook and Twitter @InstitutePHI.