Local Food System Stakeholders Focus on Innovations and Policy Opportunities in Farming, Nutrition Education, and Affordable Healthy Food Retail at Prince George’s First-Ever “Food Equity Forum”
Over 80 food and public health experts and advocates participated in a first-ever “Food Equity Forum,” hosted by the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (FEC), to discuss strategies to improve the health of county residents and increase access to healthy food for all socio-economic groups.
The Forum featured an expert panel and breakout sessions that engaged stakeholders from a variety of sectors of the county’s food system-including farmers, professors, food access focused non-profits, food banks, elected officials, government agencies, renewable energy companies, and residents.
Innovations in local food system work and opportunities for systems-level change through policy-based approaches were central to forum discussions. Healthy mobile food vending, nontraditional agricultural ventures, strategies to increase community level access to affordable foods, and promising practices to fight hunger and expand nutrition education programming were popular topics among participants. Stakeholders acknowledged the need for collaboration to address the county’s high levels of chronic disease and obesity and were urged to continue their conversations, and the spirit of collaboration, by joining the Food Equity Council and its work groups.