The Detroit Food Policy Council

by Iliana Garcia
Part of the Food Policy Councils in Action spotlight series

Name: Detroit Food Policy Council

Year started: The Detroit Food Policy Council was established in 2009 by resolution of the Detroit City Council. 

Mission: The Council’s mission is “to influence policy which ensures the development and maintenance of a sustainable and equitable food system, resulting in a food-secure City of Detroit in which all of its residents are hunger-free, healthy, and benefiting from a robust food system.”

Members/Structure: The Council is comprised of 23 members who include stakeholders from various sectors of the food system, youth, and government representatives. The Council uses a consensus decision-making model in which all voices are heard and all those making decisions are willing to support the implementation of decisions made.

What they do: The Detroit Food Policy Council, which is comprised of local residents, is determined to create a sustainable, local food system that promotes food security, food justice, and food sovereignty in the city of Detroit. They do this through education, advocacy, and establishing policy.

How they do it: Council members meet the second Tuesday bi-monthly. They also convene the following subcommittees which are open to participation from community members:

  • The Education and Engagement Committee focuses on retail food establishments, the development of a community engagement plan, and the planning of the annual Detroit Food Summit as well as other events.
  • The Research and Policy Committee plans and implements the Detroit Food Metrics Report and is also responsible for reviewing and updating the City of Detroit Food Security Policy as well as policies related to the food system as a whole including urban agriculture and access to land. 

Latest project/campaign: The Detroit Food Policy Council also leads the Detroit Grocery Store Coalition, which is a collaborative group of organizations working to improve and promote the grocery landscape within Detroit. In 2021, The Detroit Grocery Coalition launched a fellowship to pair community organizations with local stores and in 2022 they completed a statewide community engagement project working with SNAP recipients to craft policy change. The Coalition also facilitates the Great Grocer Project in collaboration with Wayne State University Center for Health and Community Impact, which aims to strengthen relationships between independently owned grocery stores and their customers in Detroit, while providing support to increase awareness and sales of healthy foods that foster economic vitality within Detroit neighborhoods.

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: In Fall 2020, the Detroit Food Policy Council received a grant from the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services via the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities to administer COVID-19 food relief efforts in the City of Detroit. The Council used this funding to collaborate with 12 other community-based organizations to implement a variety of projects designed to expand access to healthy food as well as support COVID relief efforts for Detroit residents. These projects included food distribution, cooking classes, distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), and the installation of safety infrastructures. 



Location: Julian C. Madison Building, 1420 Washington Blvd., Suite 230 Detroit, MI 48226

Number of staff: 3

Areas served:  Detroit, Michigan

Director: Winona Bynum


Phone: 313-833-0396 

Social Media: Follow the Detroit Food Policy Council on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for updates on current work and emerging priorities. 

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