Convening and engaging food councils through peer-to-peer learning to build individual and collective capacity, address food and food policy issues, and engage communities.

The Michigan Local Food Council Network brings together food councils to build their individual and collective capacities to work on food and food policy issues, operate effectively, and engage their communities, through peer-to-peer learning.

The main roles of the Michigan Local Food Council Network are to:

  • Provide a space for local councils to network with one another
  • Connect local councils to statewide policy information, issues, and actions
  • Assist local councils in building capacity
  • Provide hands-on training to local food councils
  • Connect local policy information, issues, and actions to other parts of the state
  • Connect local councils to national policy information, issues, and actions 

For the Michigan Local Food Council Network, a local food council is a group convening around a defined geographic area to assess and recommend practices or policies that affect one or more aspects of the food system. All Michigan local food councils, or those interested in starting a local food council, are invited to participate in the statewide network. 

CRFS sponsors the network, with coordination by Megan Masson-Minock at ENP & Associates and Liz Gensler at CRFS, with support from Michigan Association of Planning.

History

The Michigan Local Food Council Network formed in 2015 in response to food councils’ need for statewide peer-to-peer learning, capacity building, and networking. Using the Michigan Good Food Charter to guide their work, councils involved in the network would be able to work towards the goals of the Charter. With the Center for Regional Food Systems as the network coordinator, the collective voice of local councils has been amplified across the state.

Further background on the recent history of local food council collaboration and the impetus for creating this network can be found in Advancing a Local Food Council Network in Michigan: An Assessment.

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