History of the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
Over the last two decades, food policy councils have emerged around the United States as venues for shaping state and local policy to support sustainable food systems. The Pittsburgh Food Policy Council (PFPC) was formed in 2009 when a group of local stakeholders began convening to address community issues. The council aims to serve as a collaborative advisory organization, bringing together people from diverse food-related sectors to examine, develop and improve Pittsburgh's food system.
The PFPC first developed a common vision statement and council charter, sharing a vision for "a food system that benefits the community, the economy and the environment in ways that are equitable and sustainable." The council is committed to working with City officials and residents of Pittsburgh to develop food and urban agriculture policy. The Council also provides technical assistance, education, momentum and support on issues related to food production, food access, food distribution, health/nutrition and urban planning.
Current Achievements of the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
- Worked with City of Pittsburgh and community groups to pass streamlined improvements to the Urban Agriculture Zoning Ordinances
- Partnered with Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic and Pittsburgh Public Schools to research school food environment strengths and opportunities
- Partnered with Allegheny County Department of Human Services and the SWPA Food Security Partnership to survey staff, volunteers and youth about perceptions and quality of summer meals and provide recommendations
- Host Annual Pittsburgh Food Day featuring a Youth Strategic Dialogue on Food (2015) and a free Sunday Supper for 350+ at Pittsburgh City-County Building (2016) bringing together civic engagement and food policy
- Worked in statewide coalition to successfully reverse the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s interpretation of the state seed law to allow for the noncommercial distribution of seeds via seed exchanges and libraries.