Thumb Food Policy Council Food Summit

Various individuals throughout the state met in the beginning of July 2019, to discuss our food system.

On Tuesday July 9, 2019 35 individuals representing various community organizations and agriculture met in St Clair County to have a community discussion on our food system. Although this is a very broad topic, the focus of the discussion was on food insecurity and access to quality fresh food for everyone. The morning session included a simulated breakfast hunger banquet, similar to the popular hunger banquets created by Oxfam America. Small group sessions produced lists of needs, assets and existing and potential collaborations food secure access to high quality, fresh food year round. The list below represents the priorities selected by the participants that present additional opportunities in the future:

  1. School Lunch Workgroup – Developed actions steps that include finding best practices across the state that could be duplicated in the greater Thumb counties to provide greater access to fresh food and nutrition.
  2. Transportation Work Group – Focus on movement of people and food to and from one another between communities to meet food insecurity needs.
  3. Greater Access to Fresh, Quality Safe and Affordable Food Work Group – In convenience stores, education about where to find it and how to use it and why, engage consumers to know what they want.
  4. Engaging Youth Workgroup – Initiate conversations with youth to pull them into the food insecurity focus.

These workgroups identified above will continue their work moving forward and integrate their efforts with other service organizations like human service coordinating bodies in respective counties.

The afternoon session was highlighted by a table discussion about the future of our food systems. In partnership with the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and AgBioResearch, a panel discussed matters related to access to food, production of food, the research behind food, food safety and disease prevention. A link to the 1 ½ hour discussion at Our Table can be viewed here. You may view all or parts of this via YouTube.

To find out more about food policy efforts across the state visit their website at https://www.canr.msu.edu/local_food_council_network/index.


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