The DC Food Policy Council

by Emily Solomon

Name: The DC Food Policy Council

Year it started:  The DC  Food Policy Council was established in 2014 through the DC Food Policy Council and Director Establishment Act (FPC Act) as a direct result of  advocacy by residents wanting to connect agriculture and food in order to reach the goals of DC’s Sustainable Plan

Mission: The DC Food Policy Council is a coalition of food leaders and government representatives appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser to drive policy towards a more equitable, healthy, and sustainable food system in the District.  Their  vision is to “ create a just, healthy, equitable and sustainable food system for all by engaging, empowering, and informing DC residents and effecting positive policy change.”

Members/Structure: The council is currently made up of 13 appointed members from public, nonprofit, and for-profit entities and organizations involved in the local food economy or food access in the District. Members are recruited by the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Appointments to provide expertise on food-related issues and serve two year terms. 

What they do:  The Food Policy Council advises and implements policy change in different areas of the food system including food jobs, healthcare workers, urban agriculture, and more. Their working groups further the goals of the Food Policy Council by facilitating key partnerships that enable DC residents to create change in their communities.

How they do it:  The Council currently has a number of different working groups that develop policy recommendations, execute and support events and programs, and facilitate key partnerships.

  • Entrepreneurship & Food Jobs: The group shares resources to streamline licensing regulations for small business owners, help farmers markets expand, and advise on policies to extend their operations and business. Their most recent work product includes Farmers Market Resources, which provides guidance on how to start a farmers market. 
  • Sustainable Supply Chain: This workgroup tracks the implementation of district laws related to food and climate change. The group also supports and oversees the Green Food Purchasing Program and publishes policy briefs to increase awareness of the District’s commitment to the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration. Some current resources include The Glasgow Food and Climate Policy Debrief and the Values Based Food Procurement Guide.
  • Urban Agriculture: This workgroup publishes policy briefs recommending more spaces for growing food throughout the city and creating pathways to ownership of land for urban farmers. 
  • Nutrition & Health: This group has developed a comprehensive School Meals for All policy and has recommended recognizing  the Medical Nutrition Therapy program and other evidence-based, lifestyle programs  as alternative ways to address diet-related diseases .
  • Food Access and Equity: This group works to engage residents of DC with the No Senior Hungry Omnibus Act of 2021 and has developed a School Meals for All policy in partnership with the Nutrition & Health working group. They also help small grocers to understand how the government can support them in expanding healthy food access.

Latest project/campaign: In September 2022, the Food Policy Council released a Nutrition Education Landscape Assessment in partnership with Howard University to summarize nutrition education programs offered in the District and to better understand the gaps and opportunities for expanding access to nutrition and food-system education. The assessment will be used to help guide planning, policies, and decision-making in the Council’s future work.

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: The main guiding principle of the DC Food Policy Council is to address racial inequities in the food system. They have worked to develop a shared language for discussing the ways racism shows up in the food policy landscape across the District. They have developed a terms guide in order to be intentional about the language they use to describe the food environment. .The guide will grow and change as the Council develops their racial equity analysis of the District’s food environment.


Website: DC Food Policy Council

Number of staff: 13

Areas served: Washington, DC

President: Ronnie Webb

Contact: or call (202) 442-7600

Social Media: 

Learn More:

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