The Prince George’s County Food Equity Council:  Catalyzing Healthful Change in the Local Food System

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The Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (FEC) is a local food policy council that works to help residents grow, sell, and choose healthy food.

Since 2013, our council has been a voice for county residents at the policymaking table. We work with county leaders to find permanent solutions to improve our food system. We focus on systematic and sustainable changes to Prince George’s public health challenges (i.e., hunger, obesity, and food deserts that lack healthy food options) by advocating for policy that creates a more equitable local food system.

 Over the past four years, the council has helped our local farmers survive and thrive by partnering with key influencers and policymakers to change laws. Local farmers markets now enjoy a more streamlined permitting process, fewer fees and regulations, and extended operating hours.

We’ve also made inroads in urban farming. Were you aware that before 2016 Prince George’s County zoning laws only allowed one urban farm countywide? Today, 73% of county land is rezoned for urban farming, which means more residents can grow healthy food, engage directly with their food source, and enjoy greener spaces. As a result, residents can also benefit from supplemental income, community unification, lower crime, and increased property values. As a bonus, urban farmers can get up to $5,000 in property tax credits annually.

Prince George’s County Food Equity Council knows there’s still more work to be done and we can’t do it alone. We’re on a mission to lift our community and are looking for caring local residents to help us. We’re a group of hometown leaders and changemakers committed to bringing better food to every fork. And that involves active collaboration between individuals like you, local businesses, and county government.

We invite you to get involved and have a seat and voice at the table. The work we do for food equity today will lead to a healthier tomorrow. Join our efforts to help residents GROW, SELL, and CHOOSE healthy food and make a difference for you and your neighbors.

Please visit the FEC website at www.pgcfec.org or contact Sydney Daigle, Food Equity Council Coordinator, at pgfoodcouncil@gmail.com to learn more. If you’re interested in the council’s accomplishments, please visit the Healthy Food Policy Project website case study feature: Prince George’s County Food Equity Council: Taking on Food Swamps through Policy Change.