Douglas County Food Policy Council to share updates on work during Saturday reception

Douglas County residents will have the opportunity on Saturday to learn how local officials are working to improve the production and availability of food in the area.

The Douglas County Food Policy Council is inviting the public to learn about the group’s work during a reception where the council will provide an update on its work and ask the public to join the effort.

The council is responsible for carrying out the Douglas County Food System Plan, which features five goals to improve the local production, processing and consumption of food. The goals, which were adopted in 2017, include helping the food industry thrive in the region, conserving natural resources needed for food production, improving food access and eliminating food waste.

“It’s important to maintain public engagement around the Food System Plan since many of the goals outlined within it came directly from the vision of Douglas County residents,” said Kim Criner Ritchie, sustainability and food systems analyst for Douglas County. “So much of this progress would not have been possible without strong partnerships and collaboration with organizations and individuals across our community.”

During the event, the council will provide information about how it’s bringing regional stakeholders together to foster economic food system development; its research and support around culturally significant food retailers; its policy research for the creation of a food waste toolkit for restaurants; how it’s promoting and supporting new and existing agricultural tourism ventures; and how it’s providing local resources to help connect older adults to nutritious foods.

The council will also invite the public to join its work by participating in three work groups focusing on economic development and agricultural land use, equitable access to nutritious food and reducing and diverting food waste. While the council consists of 16 members who are appointed by the city and county governments, the work groups allow the public to participate without a formal appointment.

The reception is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at the Santa Fe Depot, 413 E. Seventh St. The event is free and open to the public and will also feature food from locally owned ethnic food retailers who are participating in the council’s research.


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