Name: The Food Policy Council of Rhode Island
Year it started: 2011
The Food Policy Council of Rhode Island’s mission is to “build a more equitable, accessible, economically vibrant, and environmentally sustainable food system in Rhode Island.”
Council members are selected through an annual application process. The council is currently made up of 24 members from all sectors of Rhode Island’s food system. The RIFPC also has several work groups that help to set policy priorities, provide testimony and facilitate collaboration on a variety of food system topics. Participation in these work groups is open to anyone with expertise or experience who wants to collaborate on advancing the Council’s priorities. RIPC staff support the Council, committees and work groups.
What they do:
RIFPC is an independent statewide collaboration of diverse committed and engaged stakeholders who create partnerships, develop policies, and advocate for improvements in the local food system.Their work includes the following:
- Policy: The Food Policy Council of Rhode Island Council has created a Bill Tracker that covers all the legislation affecting the state’sfood system. The tracker is updated daily, allowing council members to accurately identify and address the immediate needs of the community. They have also written a number of reports that guide community members and stakeholders to make decisions that will benefit and increase the efficiency of the local food system. Links to those reports are included in the learn more section of this article.
- Hunger Elimination Task Force: The RIPC partners with the RI Department of Health and the RI Department of Commerce to facilitate a statewide network of food access, nutrition, and public health champions who work to reduce hunger and increase access to healthy, culturally-appropriate food for all RI residents. In 2023, the task force will continue working to advocate for changes at the federal level through the 2023 Farm Bill process and opportunities presented by the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.
- Business Advising: The RIFPC offers free advising for food businesses of all sizes, kinds, and stages including farmers, fishers, aquaculturists, food makers, manufacturers, and retailers. The program is a six-week group-learning session that covers topics including business planning, financial management, and securing funding legal and regulatory requirements, production efficiency, branding and labeling, sales and marketing. You can sign up for the course here.
- Rhody Feeding Rhody Alliance: The RIFPC has been granted $498,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Local Food Promotion Program to create an emergency food network that supports local farmers and fisheries. With those funds, they have developed the Rhody Feeding Rhody Alliance, which will work with emergency food providers to build sustainable market channels between local farmers and fishers and Rhode Island residents in need of fresh, local, culturally-appropriate food.
How they do it:
The RIFPC is able to provide these services through the support of community partnerships. They are currently partnered with organizations including the Angel Foundation, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Island Foundation, and more.See link here. Every year the Council sets new strategic goals to guide the course of their work.
One of the RIFPC’s latest projects is the Data Dashboard, which provides stakeholders with data to help them understand the current state of the Rhode Island food system so that they are better able to set strategic goals for their organization, establish measurable objectives for projects and programs, support testimonies, grant proposals, and more.
Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system:
The RIFPC spotlights Rhode Island’s agencies, organizations, businesses, and individuals’ stories on their site. Each story links to one of the goals set by Relish Rhody, the state’s 5-year food strategy.
Number of staff: 6
Areas served: Rhode Island
President: Diane Lynch
Contact: Contact Page
Facebook: RI Food Policy Council
Twitter: RI Food Policy Council
Linkedin: RI Food Policy Council
- Policy Recommendations For Rhode Island’s Food System 2023-2025 (Rhode Island food Policy Council)
- RIFPC’s 2023 Strategic Objectives (Rhode Island food Policy Council)
- Wholesale Readiness (Rhode Island food Policy Council)
- RIFPC Newsletter (Rhode Island food Policy Council)
- RIFPC Notes From The Field (Rhode Island food Policy Council)