The BFPC grew out of the need for organizations and community members concerned about food policy to come together to help build a stronger local food system. Bloomington has a community full of folks concerned about food policy, and in the winter of 2010, members of various food related organizations came together to build a food policy council. Early members included folks from the Local Growers Guild, Middleway House, Bloomington Parks and Recreation, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, Bloomingfoods, the Bloomington Commission on Sustainability, and the Community Orchard. All were looking for a central organization that could assess the local food system, educate the community on food issues, and to advocate for a healthier food system. At the first call-out meeting in January of 2011, we began the journey that lead to the organization and accomplishments we have achieved today.
The work of the Bloomington Food Policy Council had been primarily accomplished through working groups, which is currently being restructured to meet organizational growth, the accomplishments that have been met since the organization began, and to address the new challenges we face. The original working groups included:
The Steering working group exists to oversee the growth and stability of the organization, as well as to lead the process of refining the mission, vision, strategies and strategic plan of the BFPC.
The Advocacy working group will propose and support policy changes to achieve the BFPC vision, with input from the public and data from the food system assessment. The Advocacy working group works to transform BFPC goals into actionable policy changes and to implement them.
The Assessment working group strives to assess the current local food system and to identify the challenges and needs of the local food system.
The Education working group provides access to educational opportunities for all residents of Monroe and surrounding counties. We provide comprehensive education about the food system and its effects on personal, social, and ecological health; food security; local food culture; and strategies for building a more sustainable and healthful food system.
The Governance working group is responsible for determining the structure and organization of the Bloomington Food Policy Council. The committee is in the process of applying for BFPC’s 501(c)(3) status. The next order of business is drafting by-laws and operating procedures. These two documents will outline the BFPC’s mission, membership, working group rules and co-chair responsibilities, meeting structures, and decision making procedures.
The Outreach working group manages the BFPC’s social media presence and prepares a quarterly newsletter.