For Immediate Release: October 24, 2017
Evelyn Kelly, 202-407-7086
The Institute for Public Health Innovation Releases the State of Maryland’s First Food Charter
Washington, D.C. – The Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI) releases the “Maryland Food Charter: A Roadmap to a Healthy and Sustainable Food System.” The document contains recommendations for each of the five major food system sectors: production and processing, distribution, access, consumption, and recovery. The Maryland Food Charter is the result of a three-year undertaking that began in 2014 and engaged food policy stakeholders including state legislators across the state of Maryland and aligns with recommendations from various food policy documents.
“These recommendations, if used as guidelines for policy makers and organizations working throughout the food system, can foster collaboration and collective action to align organizations and food coalitions across the state to help build a more robust food system,” said Evelyn Kelly, Senior Program Manager with the Institute for Public Health Innovation.
Guiding the planning, implementation, and evaluation of this initiative throughout the years, has been an Advisory Committee composed of eight members that represent multiple food system sectors and interests. The volunteer-based committee along with a Food Charter Coordinator provided critical input and guidance to the effort.
The Food Charter contains recommendations that were developed based on public input from all regions of Maryland, input from state legislators representing 22 districts, and aligns with the “Maryland Food Policy Scan” and the “Milan Urban Food Policy Act.” IPHI partnered with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future to commission the Food Law and Policy Clinic of Harvard Law School to conduct a policy scan of Maryland’s food systems. “The joint investment in the food charter process and the food policy scan provides Maryland policymakers and advocates a fantastic opportunity to be at the forefront of change, perhaps an example for other states,” commented Anne Palmer, Food Policy Director at John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.
Another guiding document that was incorporated into the Food Charter was the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. “The Pact is an excellent framework to guide the Maryland Food Charter,” said Holly Freishtat, Baltimore City Food Policy Director. “The beauty of the Pact is that it encompasses the whole food system, and as an international accord, it allows the work we do locally and regionally to resonate on an international level and show collective impact around the world.”
The Maryland Food Charter is a living document that unites food system stakeholders around collective values and goals. By building upon the work done thus far, together, we can implement the recommendations in this Charter and create a future Maryland food system that is healthy, equitable, economically viable, and environmentally sustainable.
The Maryland Food Charter Project was made possible through a grant awarded by the Town Creek Foundation. Please visit www.institutephi.org/mdfoodcharter for additional information.
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 over 40 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.