Ottawa Food: Community Advocates


May 7, 2024 - <>

In 2022, the Michigan Local Food Council Network (MLFCN) launched the Advocacy Campaigning series of workshops as a lead-in to a more intensive learning experience, the Policy Advocacy Learning Cohort (PALC). The PALC was designed for local food councils (LFCs) who had identified an organizing issue to advocate for in their communities, were in the beginning stages of building a base to support an issue to be further refined by community participation, and/or were ready for advocacy campaign planning and implementation. 

The PALC centered grassroots organizing as a strategy for LFCs to advance equitable food policy. Based on the Life Cycle of an Organizing Campaign, participating councils focused on base building and issue selection phases of campaign development. The Life Cycle of an Organizing Campaign, published by the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs at the University of Minnesota, is a tool for organizers and leaders to see the steps in pulling together a successful campaign. The PALC also provided an opportunity for the participating councils to apply for funding for their community engagement. 

About Ottawa Food  

Ottawa Food is a collaboration of many local agencies and individuals that exists to ensure all Ottawa County residents have access to healthy, local, and afordable food choices, and was one of the participating PALC councils. Their membership includes a variety of working backgrounds and organizations, such as farmers, local public health workers, food pantries, human service organizations, food security advocates, MSU Extension, Feeding America West Michigan, United Way, and many others. The Ottawa Food strategic plan for 2022-2024 consists of three priority areas: eliminate hunger in Ottawa county, healthy eating by all, and increase sourcing of local food. 

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