Florida Food Policy Council

L E A D I N G  F L O R I D A  F O O D


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  • 4 Oct 2021 2:41 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    Greg Noonan is a naturalist, entrepreneur, and fourth generation farmer committed to finding the intersection between work, community and our beautiful planet.

    He grew up on his family’s farm in Eastern North Carolina and loves telling people he doesn’t remember eating a store bought vegetable until he was in highschool at a friend’s house! He moved to to Central Florida in 2015 to be closer to his partner’s family, and to try to assist with the growing urban agriculture movement in Orlando.

    Through working with nonprofits and community organizations in Central Florida, Greg has designed and installed hundreds of gardens and native ornamental landscapers for homeowners, schools, and local businesses. 

    After completing his PDC course in 2019, he founded Connected Landscapes to create a sustainable financial model for ecological restoration and local food system design. Since then, Connected Landscapes has worked with dozens of homeowners throughout Central Florida to help them reconnect to nature, and grow their own food.

  • 22 Aug 2021 12:14 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Office of Energy is fighting food insecurity and climbing temperatures with funding for urban and community farming projects.

    The department announced access to funding through their Florida Urban and Community Farming Pilot Program. A total of $500,000 in funding will be available, distributed in grant amounts between $5,000 and $50,000, for projects over a period of 24 months.

    Applications for grants opened July 1st and will close at 5pm on August 31st.

    According to the official request for applications, the primary objectives of the Florida Urban and Community Farming Pilot Program are to:

    1. Establish a long-term grant program to provide more communities cleaner air and a stable, affordable, and secure source of fresh produce.

    2. Identify ways to grow fresh produce locally in urban and community farms for the benefit of those experiencing food insecurity.

    3. Reduce energy costs of food production growing.

    4. Provide incentives for community involvement in reducing CO2 and the production of nutritious food.

    5. Promote CO2 sequestration in the most heavily populated areas including urban areas and the most densely populated and heavily traveled areas of medium to small-sized cities and towns by growing food where it is consumed.

    “Florida has changed dramatically in the past seven decades. Since 1950, over 18 million more people call Florida home – yet as cities have grown, our state has lost over seven million acres of farmland,” said Kelley Smith Burk, Director of the FDACS Office of Energy, in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “This loss, combined with increasing urban heat islands, means our future must look different. Through this pilot program, we have an opportunity to mitigate these unintended climate consequences while injecting healthy, hyperlocal fresh produce into the low-nutrition food deserts too common across Florida.”

    Local governments, Florida School Boards, and community-based non-profit organizations that facilitate community gardening and/or food pantry programs are eligible to apply for funding through this program. Partnerships between these eligible entities are encouraged as well. 

    Some examples of potential eligible projects include rooftop gardens, vertical farming initiatives, aquaponics, community gardens, planting fruit trees in public spaces, and “youth agri-business.”

    Only one application is allowed per applicant, however, multiple project activities and/or locations may be proposed.

    To learn more or apply, click here to view the full Notice of Federal Funding Assistance (NOFA).

    Roxanne Hoorne is passionate about communications and journalism concerning equity in food and climate issues. She is also interested in the intersection of art, science, and philosophy. Roxanne has worked extensively with non-profits in research and communications concerning these issues both locally and internationally, as well as in the arts, both as an employee and volunteer. She is a Florida Food Policy Council member and contributes to their newsletter. She hopes her writing not only informs readers but also inspires their engagement.  

  • 16 Aug 2021 4:48 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    On August 10th, the Orange County government unanimously passed the Backyard Chicken Keeping Ordinance during the Board of County Commissioners meeting.

    Going into effect on November 1st, Orange County will issue 130 permits on a first come, first served basis to residents in select single-family and mobile home residential zoning districts. The ordinance does not override the private covenants and restrictions of HOAs and Planned Developments.

    Additionally, all prospective backyard chicken owners are required to take University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ training class on the basics of backyard chicken keeping. The course aims to teach prospective chicken owners an array of topics that range from chicken nutrition and egg production to biosecurity. Learn more about the class here. 

    Some key conditions from the new Backyard Chicken Ordinance:

    1. A Backyard Chicken permit and proof of Training from UF/IFAS Extension Orange County is required.

    2. Up to four (4) chickens may be kept for personal egg consumption.

    3. Chickens must be kept for personal use only. Selling chickens, eggs, feathers, or chicken manure is prohibited.

    4. Ducks, geese, turkeys, peafowl, male chickens/roosters, pigeons, or any other poultry or fowl are not allowed.

    To learn about everything you need to know regarding the Backyard Chicken Keeping Ordinance, visit Orange County's website

    Many Central Florida governments currently issue permits that allow residents to keep small flocks of chickens in their backyards including the cities of Orlando, Longwood, Maitland, Winter Park and Winter Garden, as well as neighboring counties of Lake, Osceola and Seminole. Visit respective city websites for more information on current ordinances and programs.

  • 5 Jul 2021 5:17 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    In June, the Florida Food Policy Council (FLFPC) joined 77 organizations in submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging them to improve and transform the U.S. food supply chain as it pertains to the production, processing, and distribution of agricultural products.

    In support of this important initiative, FLFPC joined farmer, worker, environment, health, and animal-centered groups including The Family Food Action Alliance, Food Chain Workers Alliance, Regenerative Organic Alliance, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Wellness in the Schools, Slow Food USA, Friends of Family Farmers, the West End Revitalization Association, the ASPCA, and The Humane Society of the United States among other organizations which represent more than 19.9 million members and supporters, including thousands of farmers, 17,000 physicians, and 375,000 workers.

    This initiative represents the commitment to creating a more just, reliable, and sustainable food system that equitably represents and serves all communities throughout the United States.

    Some of the challenges currently seen in U.S. food supply chain are: economic, health and safety risks for our farming communities; the worsening of the climate crisis on a local and global level; the undermining of regional food systems and nutritional security; and the perpetuation of systemic inequalities.

    To address the challenges posed by our food system, USDA has been urged to:

    1. Invest in food that nourishes people.

    2. Invest in a healthy public food safety net.

    3. Invest in farmers’ and farm workers’ interests, not in corporate profit margins.

    4. Invest in a just and sustainable future, not simply a less unjust or less unsustainable food system.


    Read the full letter here.


  • 30 Jun 2021 5:58 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    The Florida Food Policy Council has joined a partnership with The Climate Leadership Engagement Opportunities (CLEO) Institute for their second annual Climate and Food Policy Course. Additional partner organizations included Patel College of Global Sustainability, Urban Health Partnerships, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. 

    From July 1-July 29, this 5-week course aimed to connect the dots between the climate crisis, food insecurity, and the policies that can mitigate greenhouse gases and protect vulnerable communities.

    Experts from the field and prominent organizations led engaging classes to cover topics such as food and agriculture, civic engagement, equitable food policy, and extreme heat and agriculture.

    The goal of this course was to help Floridians become more civically engaged in advocating for sustainable food and agricultural policies.

    For more information about the Climate and Food Policy Course and to register, visit here

  • 4 Apr 2021 7:26 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    The Florida Food Policy Council has joined a public private partnership challenging Floridians to become food waste reduction heroes by launching inaugural Florida Food Waste Prevention Week which runs from April 5th to 9th, 2021.

    FLFPC joins leaders from around the state including the Food Conservation Alliance, EPA Region IV, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Florida Department of Environmental Protection, to team up with Recycle Florida Today, Sustainable Events Network, Florida & Caribbean, and Florida Atlantic University for this important event.

    This partnership represents a commitment to the mission of raising public awareness and inspiring a call to action to prevent food waste, protect the environment, save money and reduce hunger.

    On April 8th at 11AM, Whitney Fung FLFPC member and Data Insights Manager at Feeding Tampa Bay, will be representing the council at the special virtual event Florida Food Policy Update and Road Ahead” to discuss current initiatives on food waste with Josh Kelly, Materials Management Section Chief with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, along with Moderator Elaine Fiore, President of Food Conservation Alliance.

    Beyond consumer level behavior changes, Food Waste Prevention Week prompts Floridians to also consider how food is wasted within their workplaces, communities and recreational destinations. Food Waste Prevention Week challenges both organizations and residents throughout the state to become Food Waste Reduction Heroes.  

    As Food Waste Reduction Heroes, what are we saving?

    • Up to 3 million tons of annual food waste which could feed the 1 in 5 Floridians that lack consistent access to nutritious food. 
    • A family of four can save on average $1500 per year.   
    • Florida’s critical natural resources of land, water, and energy, used to create otherwise good food that is wasted. 
    For more information on the Florida Food Waste Prevention Week, visit here.

  • 16 Dec 2020 10:47 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    From left to right Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE).

    As of December 7th, both the House and the Senate passed resolutions recognizing the importance of United States leadership in the effort to reduce global maternal and child malnutrition.

    The Global Nutrition Resolution, H.R. 189, was introduced by Reps. Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) in March, 2020, with 154 bipartisan co-sponsors. Senate resolution S.R. 260 was authored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE), and had 42 bipartisan co-sponsors.

    “Food security and access to good nutrition in early childhood are vital to children’s physical and cognitive development. Although progress has been made in improving nutrition for mothers and children, nearly half of all child deaths worldwide are related to malnutrition. It is a tragedy that so many preventable deaths still occur,” said Senator Collins in a press release. “Our bipartisan resolution recognizes the important role the United States plays in the global effort to end child and maternal hunger and applauds USAID’s continued efforts to promote global food security.”

    “The number of children lost each year due to malnutrition is staggering. Too many families and communities around the globe are devastated by food insecurity, hunger, and nutrient deficiencies, and we must do more,” said Senator Coons. “I’m proud the Senate adopted the bipartisan resolution I introduced with Senator Collins that recognizes the critical leadership role the United States and USAID play to reduce malnutrition worldwide.”

    The resolutions highlight the severity of malnutrition across the globe and the negative effects that this has on child development, maternal health, and economic development. They also recognize that the USAID Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy, the U.S. Government Global Nutrition Coordination Plan, the Global Food Security Strategy, and the Scaling Up Nutrition movement are all platforms that can help reach global nutrition targets by 2025.

    Several advocacy groups have expressed support for the resolution including Bread for the World, RESULTS, Save the Children, CARE, and UNICEF.

    Read the full Senate resolution here.

    Read the full House resolution here.

  • 25 Nov 2020 8:44 AM | Administrator (Administrator)
    • From left to right: Senator Cory Booker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. 

    • On November 19th, the Justice for Black Farmers Act was introduced to Congress by U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). The bill is aimed at addressing and correcting historic discrimination within the U.S. Department of Agriculture in federal farm assistance and lending that has caused Black farmers to lose millions of acres of farmland and robbed Black farmers and their families of hundreds of billions of dollars of inter-generational wealth.

      "Overtly discriminatory and unjust federal policy has robbed Black families in the United States of the ability to build and pass on intergenerational wealth,” said Senator Booker in a press release. “When it comes to farming and agriculture, we know that there is a direct connection between discriminatory policies within the USDA and the enormous land loss we have seen among Black farmers over the past century. The Justice for Black Farmers Act will work to correct this historic injustice by addressing and correcting USDA discrimination and taking bold steps to restore the land that has been lost in order to empower a new generation of Black farmers to succeed and thrive.”

      In 1920 there were nearly 1 million Black farmers in the United States. Today, it is estimated that there are less than 50,000 remaining Black farmers. Over the past hundred years, Black agricultural landowners have lost 98 percent of their land, some 12 million acres. If passed, the Justice for Black Farmers Act will enact policies to end discrimination within the USDA, protect remaining Black farmers from losing their land, provide land grants to create a new generation of Black farmers and restore the land base that has been lost, and implement systemic reforms to help family farmers across the United States.

      Senator Warren said, “For decades, racist policies have robbed Black farmers of the economic opportunity to thrive in our country's agricultural industry. I'm glad to cosponsor Senator Booker's bill, which goes a long way toward restoring and protecting property rights of Black farmers, rooting out discriminatory policies, and providing Black farmers with the necessary tools to succeed.”

      “Black farmers and ranchers have been historically excluded in agricultural industries and inequities in federal aid have stripped them from their land. It is not only our responsibility to investigate this systemic discrimination, we must end and correct it so that the next generation of Black farmers can bloom,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “The Justice for Black Farmers Act will ensure the Department of Agriculture puts an end to discriminatory practices that have harmed Black agricultural producers for more than a hundred years. I thank Senator Booker for his leadership on this issue and I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation to make farming more equitable and inclusive.”

      According to Booker, the Justice for Black Farmers Act will:

      • End Discrimination within USDA: The Act takes steps to once and for all end discrimination within USDA. The Act creates an independent civil rights oversight board to conduct reviews of any appeals of civil rights complaints filed against USDA, to investigate reports of discrimination within USDA, and to provide oversight of Farm Service Agency County Committees. In addition, the Act creates an Equity Commission whose responsibilities include developing recommendations to reform FSA County Committees. The Act also puts reforms in place within the USDA Office of Civil Rights, including placing a moratorium on foreclosures during the pendency of civil rights complaints.
      • Protect Remaining Black Farmers from Land Loss: The Act increases the funding authorization for the USDA relending program created in the 2018 Farm Bill to resolve farmland ownership and succession, or “heirs property,” issues. The Act provides funding for pro bono assistance, including legal assistance, succession planning and support for development of farmer cooperatives, to Black farmers. The Act will also create and fund a new bank to provide financing and grants to Black farmer and rancher cooperative financial institutions, and will forgive USDA debt of Black farmers who filed claims in the Pigford litigation.
      • Restore the Land Base Lost by Black Farmers: The Act creates a new Equitable Land Access Service within USDA to acquire farmland and provide land grants of up to 160 acres to existing and aspiring Black farmers. These land grants will allow hundreds of thousands of new Black farmers to return to the land in the next decade. To help ensure their success, these new Black farmers will be provided access to USDA operating loans and mortgages on favorable terms.
      • Create a Farm Conservation Corps: The Act creates a USDA program where young adults from socially disadvantaged communities will be provided with the academic, vocational and social skills necessary to pursue careers in farming and ranching. Participants in the program will be paid by USDA and will serve as on-farm apprentices at no cost to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, beginning farmers and ranchers, and organic farmers and ranchers with annual gross farm income of less than $250,000.00. Black participants who gain experience through this program will have priority for land grants.
      • Empower HBCUs and Advocates for Black farmers: The Act provides substantial resources to 1890s and to nonprofits who serve Black farmers so that they can provide pro bono assistance in identifying land for USDA to purchase and provide as land grants, help new Black farmers get up and running, provide farmer training, and provide other assistance including succession planning and legal assistance to Black farmers. The Act also provides new funding to HBCUs to expand their agriculture research and courses of study.
      • Assist All Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers: While Black farmers have suffered a unique history of discrimination, other socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers have also been harmed by discrimination. The Act substantially increases funding for USDA technical assistance and for programs such as CSP and REAP, and gives priority for these programs, as well as increased access to capital, to all socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
      • Enact System Reforms to Help All Farmers and Ranchers: In order for existing Black farmers and the new Black farmers created by this bill to have a real chance to succeed and thrive, broader reforms to our broken food system must be enacted. The Justice for Black Farmers Act substantially reforms and strengthens the Packers and Stockyards Act in order to stop abusive practices by big multinational meatpacking companies and protect all family farmers and ranchers. 

    The bill has gained support from more than 90 organizations across the United States. A full list of supportive organizations can be accessed here. The full text of the bill can be viewed here.

    The Florida Food Policy Council covered this topic in the November 2019 Florida Food Forum on “Black Farmers Matter.” The forum featured Tanikka Watford Williams, Executive Director of The Moore Wright Group, Angelique Taylor and David “Kip” Ritchey, Owners of Smarter By Nature LLC, and Carla Bristol, Collaboration Manager at St. Petersburg Youth Farm. Incoming Chair of the Florida Food Policy Council, Erica Hall, moderated the event. Access a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

  • 20 Nov 2020 9:48 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    Jesse Haskins is the principal attorney of J Haskins Law, a law firm focused on sustainable, regenerative agriculture.

    Prior to his legal focus on food, Jesse served as assistant attorney general for the State of Florida. In this capacity, he handled a range of civil litigation, from prisoners’ civil rights complaints to challenges about the adequacy of funding for Florida’s public universities. Jesse also served as assistant general counsel for the Florida Department of Financial Services, where he handled matters relating to workers’ compensation compliance, bankruptcy, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

    Jesse graduated from the Duke University School of Law in 2009 and is admitted to practice law in Florida and North Carolina.

    His favorite ingredient is tahini.

  • 12 Nov 2020 1:26 PM | Administrator (Administrator)


    FOR RELEASE, November 12, 2020  

    Florida Food Policy Council Announces the Appointment of Erica Hall as New Board Chair 

    Florida, November 12, 2020 — The Florida Food Policy Council announced today the appointment of Erica Hall as Chair to the board of directors. 

    This brings the current number of board members to 9. 

    Erica Hall, M.S. CED, MBA, ARM is the incoming chair and will serve a three (3) year term. Erica brings to the Board an extensive background as a community organizer, advocate, non-profit executive and Board member, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) consultant and Senior Legal Professional. Erica has worked in urban agriculture, community development, urban planning, environmental justice, public health, neighborhood preservation, food policy and advocacy and on all aspects of non-profit management, corporate and commercial real estate transactions.  Three years ago, she relocated from the Washington DC/Northern VA area where she lived for over 14 years and worked with the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the American Planning Association, the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) and other environmental, neighborhood revitalization groups throughout the DC area focusing on youth development, urban agriculture, food insecurity, workforce training, affordable housing, historic and neighborhood preservation.  Erica has collaborated and partnered on developing Food Policy Councils in NY, DC, VA, and MD while remaining active in the green building and environmental justice community, using her platform to combine leadership, advocacy and activism. 

    Since 2011, she has been a Grant Reviewer for the USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture's Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program which funds projects designed to meet the needs of low-income individuals and increase community self-reliance concerning food and nutrition. She is still a Grant Reviewer for the USDA's Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LMPP). Erica previously chaired Healthy Solutions a DC non-profit and served on the Board of Directors of Groundwork Anacostia River DC, a local non-profit that utilizes environmental restoration goals as a vehicle for community development. In 2015, while a member of the DC chapter of the US Green Building Council, Erica was selected as co-chair of the Host Committee for Greenbuild, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to Green Building.  As co-chair, she worked to connect and introduce the U.S. Green Building Council and Greenbuild to International Real Estate Management (IREM) and other real estate groups. The 2015 Greenbuild Host Committee, on which she served, earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2016. 

    Erica is also a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, a dynamic network of over 1,000 of the country’s top emerging environmental and social change leaders. Erica is also experienced in lobbying and public policy, working with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Lobby and Leadership Corps, and the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) Public Policy Committee.  Erica has also worked for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and NeighborWorks America on Community Reinvestment Act advocacy and initiatives across the country.   Erica is currently a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the National Board of Directors for IREM as well as the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the American Society on Aging. Erica is also a member of the Executive Committee of the North American Food Systems Network (NAFSN), which was founded in 2015 to offer leadership and technical skills training, networking, and other professional development opportunities for the growing group of individuals supporting the development of equitable and sustainable local and regional food systems. 

    Currently living in St Petersburg Florida, Erica stays busy on a number of projects, including advising and working with the Sierra Club Florida Chapter, Suncoast Group, the League of Women Voters and the City of St. Petersburg on the development of a Food Policy Council for the City of St. Petersburg. Erica has also been elected as an incoming Executive Committee member of the Sierra Club Florida Chapter, Suncoast Group. Erica also serves as a workgroup member of the Grow Smarter Strategy, a comprehensive, integrated, data-driven community plan to enhance St. Petersburg’s competitive position and provide quality, diverse economic growth. Erica also worked on the Enoch Davis/St. Pete Youth Farm project as a member of the Ad Hoc Committee, which helped to define the mission statement for the project, helped guide project direction, while producing some broad actions needed to implement the project while empowering youth to lead urban agriculture projects under community guidance and resources as a successful strategy in youth development, entrepreneurship, workforce and neighborhood development. Erica has a master’s degree in Community Economic Development and a Global MBA from Southern New Hampshire University.  

    We are thrilled to welcome Erica and her passion, knowledge, and experience to the Board. Erica's commitment to equity and inclusivity in the food system align with the Council values of integrity and collaboration and are ever more vital in our current times. With her experience on the national policy stage coupled with her love of building local food systems, we think she is the ideal candidate to lead the Council forward into the next phase of development,” said Rachel Shapirothe Florida Food Policy Council’s outgoing Chair. 

    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, food policy councils (FPCs) have emerged as a critical struc­ture for organizing community-based responses to multiple food system issues. Food policy councils (FPCs) are being thrust into roles beyond anything their members could have imagined. The Florida Food Policy Council is poised to become an important voice to groups throughout the State of Florida, as well as providing a safe place to encourage and engage in sometimes uncomfortable dialogue and discussion, said Erica. 


    About Florida Food Policy Council 

    The Florida Food Policy Council (FLFPC) works to address gaps and affect policy within the food system through integrity and collaboration for the benefit of all Floridians and the environment. 


    Media Contact: 

    Kyndra Love 

    Operations and Communications Manager 



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