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What food policy in Spokane means for you

Nathan Calene, Food Systems Planning

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 2:06 p.m.
Food System Map

Source: www.arcgis.com

Ever heard of a Food Policy Council? And just what is a Food System?

Spokane actually has one of the nation's 250 Food Policy Councils. Food policy is something that has impacted the Lilac City more than you might realize – on everything from establishing market gardens in residential areas to the ban of certain chemicals in products or packaging.

A Food Policy Council (FPC) coordinates food system players in the food system within a given geographic/jurisdictional boundary. The food system is made up of growers, processors, distributors, retailers, consumers, and composters. Food Policy Councils range from municipal, county, regional, or state levels of governance. 1982 the first FPC was created in Knoxville, Tennessee. As of 2014, 250 FPC's have been created nationwide. Above, you can see a map showing FPC's across the North America.

Put another way, "The central aim of most Food Policy Councils is to identify and propose innovative solutions to improve local or state food systems, spurring local economic development and making food systems more environmentally sustainable and socially just," says Mark Winne, a community food activist who has been refered to as the 'father of food policy work.'

Purpose of FPC's:
  • Influence government food policies
  • Coordinate food system stakeholders within a specified geography/jurisdiction
  • Conduct food assessments/studies and prepare food plans
Spokane FPC

The Spokane Food Policy Council is a non-profit organization working on food systems issues.

  • SFPC Mission: To advance policies and initiatives that foster a resilient food system in the Spokane area; one that is healthy and equitable for its citizens, economy and environment.
  • SFPC Vision: A thriving community that values and cultivates a viable, inclusive, and prosperous food system.
Current Work

Food System Study – Inventorying our agricultural resources, distribution infrastructure, regional economy, and the players acting within the regional food shed.


Here are the active members of the Spokane Food Policy Council:

  • Spokane City Council President
  • Whitworth University
  • Project Hope/Camas Partners (LINC)
  • USDA
  • Futurewise Spokane Permaculture
  • Community Building
  • Urban Planning
  • Eastern Washington University
  • Soil Scientist
  • Charlie's Produce
  • Spokane Regional Health District
  • Department of Ecology
  • Organic By Design
  • Spokane Tribe
  • Catholic Charities of Spokane
  • Second Harvest
  • Washington State University
  • WSU/Spokane County Extension
  • Ferris High School
  • NW Farm Credit Service

The Spokane Food Policy Council meets the third Wednesday of each month. We have an ongoing membership recruitment process so if you would like to get involved please email me at ncalene@spokanecity.org


  • Animal Law
  • Food Policy
  • Food Policy Council
  • Market Garden Pilot Project
  • Neonicotinoid Ban

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