Mayor Greg Fischer has made his appointments to the recently-created Food Policy Advisory Council, which will work to reduce obesity in the city.
The 25-member panel strives to identify and propose innovative solutions and policies to create a vibrant food system and spur economic development. It is part of a larger movement led by Metro Government in the past few years to help bring healthy foods to impoverished neighborhoods known as food deserts.
“It’s important for local entrepreneurs, farmers, community food advocates, faith based organizations, educators and others in the community to work together to create more opportunities for our citizens to access fresh, local food and encourage a robust, sustainable local food economy,” Fischer said in a news release. “These 25 individuals represent a broad spectrum of our city and they have the experience, vision, and passion to lead our efforts.”
The food council’s agenda hasn’t been set, but it’s expected to tackle issues surrounding Louisville’s lack of food security and make recommendations to city leaders.
In 2010, a city report found large swaths of west Louisville and east downtown lacked fresh produce, but were saturated by fast food restaurants, which has spawned the Healthy in a Hurry Corner Store initiative.
The Food Policy Advisory Council appointees:
- Bill Lynch, Chef, Louisville Originals
- Larry Brandenburg, Farmer, Harmony Fields Farm
- Mary Berry, President, Smith Berry Winery
- Ann Coffey, Community Volunteer
- Stan Siegwald, Policy Director, Dare to Care Food Bank
- Robin Kaukas, Coordinator – Family Resource Center, Fairdale Elementary School
- Mike Bramer, Director of Healthy Actions, YMCA and Chair, Food in Neighborhoods Committee, Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement
- Sarah Ludden, Junior League
- James Neumann, Owner, Valu Market
- Michael Dean, Neighborhood Coordinator, California Collaborative
- Dawn Riley, Executive Director, Kentucky Agricultural Council
- Ellen McGeeney, Manager, Grasshoppers Distribution
- Jill Costin, Coordinator – Nutrition Services, Jefferson County Public Schools
- Pat Williamson, Community Advocate, Lamp Ministries
- Peter Thiong, Agricultural Coordinator, YouthBuild Louisville
- Dr. Lisa Markowitz, Professor of Anthropology, University of Louisville
- Lacey McNary, Deputy Director, Kentucky Youth Advocates
- Cassia Herron, Urban Planner, Founder, Aunties Catering
- Jennie Jean Davidson, Deputy Director, Making Connections Louisville
- Joyce Lichtenstein, Community Volunteer
- Gary Heine, Owner, Heine Bros. Coffee
- SteVon Edwards, designee for Public Health and Wellness
- Sarah Fritschner, designee for Economic Development
- Steve Sizemore, designee for Codes and Regulations
- John Hamilton, designee for Parks
Over 70 applications were submitted and were reviewed by a development team that measured knowledge, experience and vision for Louisville’s food system. Careful consideration was also made to include a broad representation of occupations, Metro Council districts and diversity in race and gender.
Funding for the panel comes from a $7.9 million federal grant. The money is being spent on long- and short-term strategies to increase physical activity, provide better nutrition and spur economic development.
Community health specialist Josh Jennings with the Department of Public Health and Wellness’ Center for Health Equity will serve as the administrative coordinator.