Food Policy Council
The Governor's Role
HOW IT BEGAN:
Food Policy Council (KFPC) was launched on Sept. 29,
2005 with an event and announcement at Cottonwood School in
Salina. The Council is part of Governor Kathleen Sebeliusí Healthy
Two years of funding, ($120,000) was secured
for the Kansas Rural Center through the USDA Community Foods
Project Program. The Governor committed in-kind support in the
form of employee salaries and expenses as matching funds. She
directed the cooperation of several agencies, including
Agriculture, Commerce, Aging, Social and Rehabilitative Services
(SRS), Education and the Rural Life Task Force.
The primary objective of the KFPC is to bring together a diverse group of
public and private sector stakeholders to examine food systems in
the state. The KFPC makes policy recommendations regarding ways in
which the food system and related practices can be improved to
enhance the health of the Kansas population, strengthen local
economies and market opportunities, improve coordination and
efficiency, protect the environment, and reduce hunger and food
The KFPC operates throughout Kansas
under the sponsorship of Governor Kathleen Sebelius and her administration.
Membership on the KFPC includes both governmental and
private sector representatives from all aspects of the Kansas food
system (production, distribution, marketing and consumers). The KFPC
serves as a venue for coordinating governmental and private sector
interests and activities, with efforts focused primarily in three
Regional Food Systems
- reviews the problems and
issues that stand in the way of revitalizing the local food
economy, and promotes implementation of new policies that will
encourage more local farmers, food processors and food retailers.
- targets the problems of
hunger and inadequate diets for low income and nutritionally
at-risk populations, including the elderly, children, pregnant and
nursing women, and incapacitated populations, with the goal of
ensuring these groups receive the nutrition they need.
Human Health and the Environment
- focuses on the hard
problem of changing how people eat. Many of our chronic health
issues are based on poor nutrition. Issues such as diabetes,
heart disease and obesity all have their origins in food and
eating habits. A second area of investigation concerns health
problems related to how food is produced and the possible
incidental ingestion of carcinogens related to an historical
switch to prepared and preserved foods instead of home-prepared
Increase the regional production and marketing
of food products.
Streamline and clarify the rules and
regulations governing direct-marketed foods to provide increased
marketing opportunities for Kansas farmers.
Promote the use of regionally produced foods in
programs serving at-risk populations.
Support the development and implementation of
new community-based regional food policy councils within Kansas.
Improve communication and coordination among
programs providing food assistance to at-risk populations, and
streamline eligibility determination processes.
Improve participation rates in
government-sponsored nutrition assistance programs.
Improve the health of Kansans through improved
school-based nutrition, reduction of childhood obesity, and other
nutritional initiatives, working in coordination with the
Governorís Healthy Kansans Initiative.
Maximize nutritional density of foods, clean
water, and air quality through improvements in agricultural
ORganizations Involved at Inception
The following groups, with the assistance of
Governor Kathleen Sebelius, initially organized the Kansas Food
The Kansas Rural Center
The Salina Food Policy Council
Drake University Agricultural Law Center
Kansas Department of Aging
Kansas Department of Agriculture
Kansas Department of Commerce
Kansas Department of Education
Kansas Department of Health & Environment
Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation
Kansas State University Ė Research and
Wichita State University - Center for Human
Health and the Environment
The Kansas Rural Life Task Force
Other parties are being added as they are
Farm groups and food marketing organizations
such as farmers markets
The Food Distribution Network of processors and
Food service providers to school children, the
elderly and in other institutional settings
Emergency food providers including shelters,
kitchens, pantries and warehouses
Governmental agencies charged with the same
Churches and other non-profit organizations
concerned with human welfare and the public good
Health care providers
Interested citizens and consumers.
The Governor's Role
The Governor provides a leadership role,
encouraging the formation of the Food Policy Council and insuring
that Departments and Agencies participate as information providers
and full partners in implementation of agreed to activities.
Often, Food Policy Councils operate in the nebulous area between
and among state agencies, private service providers, non-profits,
for-profits, the Universities and Extension. As such, they exist
as on-going stakeholder meetings, continually supplying
information back to the Governor.
Agreed upon activities may or may not seek the
Governorís assistance in implementation, though this would always
be necessary for tasks involving State Agencies and Departments.
The Food Policy Council would not take public positions contrary
to the Governorís policies. Rather, it would seek to work with the
Governor to advance positions agreed to by all.
Coordinator of the KFPC is Dan Nagengast,
Executive Director of the Kansas Rural Center, and Co-Coordinator
of the Governorís Rural Life Task Force. He will chair the
Regional Food Systems and Human Health and the Environment Task
Forces. Barbara LaClair, M.H.A. chairs the Food Security Task
Funding for this two year project comes from
USDA with a substantial non-cash match from the Kansas State
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