The South Central Food Policy Council (FPC) met January 22, 2013 in Jackson. Jan Kelly, Southern Area Food Inspection Supervisor from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture addressed the topics of licensing, license types, and safe food handling practices. The information was requested as the continues to work towards their goals of promoting local growers and increasing access to local healthy foods. The Q and A opportunity was especially valuable to members as they address policy needed to support the local foods movement.
The five-county food policy council was created in April 2012 to assess, learn and improve the local food environment. At this meeting ten priority food issues were identified and monthly meetings have been held to learn more and address each issue.
· Promote local growers
· Hunger and lack of access to healthy food
· Food preparation – fast, fresh from scratch
· Compost education
· Healthy food at corner stores
· Identification of community kitchens and processors
· Local government incentives for young farmers in nontraditional farming
· Education and marketing
· New USDA regulations for schools
After learning more about these issues, the FPC plans to create and offer policy to local decision-makers that will ensure commitments to advancing local, healthy food.
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