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  • 12 Jan 2022 6:30 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    The Florida Food Policy Council (FLFPC) thanks all of our dedicated members, partners and supporters for your commitment to the Food Policy Council and its initiatives.

    In 2021, FLFPC was proud to have had the opportunity to host and participate in a variety of events, projects, programs, and partnerships to work towards our mission to strengthen Florida’s food system. Here are some highlights from this year.

    Florida Food Forums & Virtual Networking Sessions

    Florida Food Forums: Through the Florida Food Forums, FLFPC brings together Florida food system experts, community advocates and residents to discuss emerging issues that impact them. 

    This year’s Food Forum topics included: 

    January: Building Bridges: Bettering Florida’s Food System Together

    February: Florida Food Festivals

    March: Food is Not a Human Right: Issues with Food Democracy

    April: Youth in the Food System

    May: Sacred Nutrition: Religion and Food Justice

    June: Seed Saving Programs and Practices

    July: Urban Agriculture Policies and Programs

    August: Strengthening Southeast Florida’s Food System: Partnerships and Policies 

    September: Strengthening Southeast Florida’s Food System Action: Emerging Community Practices 

    November: Building Resilient Communities Through Cooperatives

    Visit here to access a follow up with resources and information on each of our monthly Forums. 

    Experience all of our past Food Forums on the FLFPC’s YouTube channel.

    Virtual Member Networking Sessions: Through FLFPC’s Virtual Member Networking Events, members were able to network on projects, grants, and funding with other members from around the state, as well as envision and shape the future of FLFPC.

    In 2021, FLFPC hosted 2 Member Networking Sessions in February and October, and an Annual Membership Meeting in December to further delve into food policy and how to build sustainable local food systems in Florida.


    Food System Development

    FLFPC focused on convening stakeholders to share ideas, uplift community-based food initiatives, cultivate collaboration, and identify policy needs.

          Signed on to the letter End CAFO Support in the Build Back Better Act

          Joined with 77 organizations in signing on to Farm Sanctuary’s and the Center for Biological Diversity’s letter to the USDA

          2nd Annual Climate and Food Policy Summer Course Partner: FLFPC partnered with the Climate Leadership Engagement Opportunities (CLEO) Institute for their second annual Climate and Food Policy Summer Course to connect the dots between our current climate crisis, food insecurity, and public policies that can mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases and protect marginalized communities. Read more here.

          Florida Food Waste Prevention Week Partner: Whitney Fung, FLFPC member and Data Insights Manager at Feeding Tampa Bay, represented the council at the special virtual event “Florida Food Policy Update and Road Ahead” to discuss current initiatives on food waste. Read more about the event here.


    Conferences & Community Dialogues

    Community dialogues aim to create deeper conversations about current issues that are important and relevant. FLFPC was able to lead and participate in a multitude of discussions and conferences regarding sustainability and food justice within Florida’s food systems.

          USF 2021 Tampa Bay Urban Food Sovereignty Summit: Erica Hall was the Keynote Speaker at the USF 2021 Tampa Bay Urban Food Sovereignty Summit. Learn more about the USF Urban Food Sovereignty Group here.

          Climate Justice Summit: Erica Hall presented at the Climate Justice Summit hosted by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Central Florida Climate Action and the Miami Climate Alliance.

          2021 Grantmakers in Health Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy: Erica Hall and Anthony Olivieri presented at 2021 GIH Annual Conference. Learn more about Grantmakers in Health here.

          Community Conversations Series "Hunger in our Midst: Fighting the Rising Tide of Food Insecurity in Pinellas County": Erica Hall joined Indivisible FL-13, Fired Up Pinellas, and other partner organizations as a panelist in their Community Conversation Series about food insecurity in Pinellas County.

          Florida Climate Week 2021: Dell deChant and Erica Hall took part in a Special Dialogue on "The Intersectionality of Policy and Climate Change,” which was sponsored by Volo Foundation. This dialogue expanded on the intersections of public policy and climate change, and further explored the inseparable relationship between our food system and our environment. Watch the full Dialogue here.

          St Pete’s “The Planet for The Future” Dialogue: Erica Hall joined St. Pete Youth Farm for a dialogue on “The Planet for The Future” which delved into the intersections of community, food, and the environment and how we can grow a healthier planet together. 


     Board and Staff Leadership Development

    This year, FLFPC gained new 3 new Board Members: Greg Noonan, Erica Hardison, and Stacy Brown. FLFPC Board Members are exceptional leaders  who dedicate their time to better the food system. Many participated in programs to network and promote more equitable leadership in our food systems. 

          Food Systems Leadership Network's Organizational Change for Racial Justice (OCRJ) Training: Board members Erica Hall, Rachel Shapiro, Tom Pellizzetti and Staff Kyndra Love participated in racial justice, equity and inclusivity training. Learn more about the training here.

          Facebook’s Nonprofit Growth Program: Kyndra Love was accepted to Facebook’s Nonprofit Growth Program under the FLFPC, a program designed to help nonprofit organizations find the best practices that will be most helpful in reaching their goals through tailored education and peer-to-peer connection and learning.

          Vital Village Networks Community Food Systems Fellowship: Erica Hall was selected as a Fellow along with 9 other food systems leaders for the Vital Village Networks Community Food Systems Fellowship, which is a leadership pipeline to increase opportunities for diverse leaders to build skills, capacity, and networks. As part of her fellowship, Erica will be working to create new opportunities and collaborations for FLFPC and communities around Florida.

          North American Association for Environmental Education CEE-Change Fellowship Program: Erica Hall became a member of the pilot cohort of the NAAEE CEE-Change Fellowship Program, where the goal is to build leadership in civics and environmental education in order to create a more equitable and sustainable future.


    Thank you again for your support in our mission and we hope you stay tuned to what’s to come in 2022!  

  • 9 Dec 2021 9:38 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    FLFPC welcomes Stacy Brown to the Board of Directors!

    Stacy Brown is an avid ocean lover, community connector and nonprofit supporter and she strives to fulfill her mission of creating dynamic positive change in our community.

    Over the past 17 years, Stacy has served in various capacities on nonprofit boards working with educational, environmental, and religious nonprofit groups and received her Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from Nova Southeastern University. In 2019 she founded, Trident Business Solutions, a bookkeeping and business operations consulting company serving small businesses and nonprofits. She is currently pursuing her Master's in Marine Science with Nova Southeastern University and her business specializations include: grant writing, event planning, fundraising, program development, and financial and business operations.

    Over the past 5 years, she has been fortunate to be able to utilize her science background, serve her community and foster environmental stewardship by working with three South Florida based nonprofits. Urban Farming Institute as Operations & Development Director, 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project as CFO & Education Director and Ocean Rescue Alliance as Co-Founder, CFO & Education Director.

    Stacy has taught thousands of students and adult community members about environmental stewardship growing their own food and has helped to establish several gardens in schools and communities. Her hard work and experience with science and event programming allowed her to establish STEAM field trips, after school programs and summer camps with Urban Farming Institute for Broward County. As a mother of teenage triplet sons, she understands the importance of educating children beyond that of the traditional classroom so in 2019 she began a marine biology education initiative, Coral Rangers, which helps local students to gain their open water SCUBA Certification and teaches them to be environmental stewards for our coral reefs.

    In 2021 she began coordinating a new community garden project, The All Community Garden, for NFL Sisters in Service. The new garden concept will help ease food insecurity in Broward County through the development of a community garden and food forest concept to demonstrate food growing techniques to the residents of Dania Beach, Hollywood and Liberia. Also in 2021, she began as advisor for the South Florida Association of Environmental Professionals (SFAEP) Coral Nursery and Oyster Reef projects.

    Stacy plans on continuing to make our community more connected, to teach our residents to grow their own food and to enable our citizen scientists to save our environment and restore our reefs and oceans.

  • 6 Dec 2021 9:00 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    FLFPC welcomes Erica Hardison to the Board of Directors!

    Erica has worked in St. Petersburg for over 20 years to help develop sustainable change in many areas including food/agriculture, education, healthcare, and housing. She brings her foundational goal - making the lives of all people better through sustainable, cooperative and collaborative development - to every project.

    Presently she serves as Board President for One Community Grocery Co-op, a start-up cooperatively-owned grocery store in St. Pete’s Southside neighborhood. Through her experience as an educator, a small business owner, and a community organizer - she has honed her natural ability to solve problems and think logically, creatively, and globally, while acting locally.

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

    FLFPC welcomes Greg Noonan to the Board of Directors!

    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.

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