Did you know that Pennsylvania has a statewide food policy council? The Pennsylvania Food Policy Council, established in December 2022 by Executive Order 2022-05, aims to deepen statewide, multisectoral and interagency collaboration on critical food systems challenges impacting Pennsylvania residents, communities, and businesses. The council will develop and implement strategies to improve food and nutrition security, public health, environmental sustainability and stewardship, local food economies, and to reduce food waste.

“We have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that essential, life-sustaining work happens every day across the food systems of our state,” said Dawn Plummer, Council Director. “We have also seen what can happen when our public sector partners up with schools, communities, organizations, and businesses to build a just, equitable, and sustainable food system for all. The PA Food Policy Council presents us with a great opportunity to deepen communication, collaboration, and transformation across the commonwealth. The council will join hands with PA’s heroes and heroines—the farmers, farmworkers, truckers, lunch ladies, school administrations, cooks, teachers, and young people who envision a food system where communities, institutions, and schools nourish the next generation of Pennsylvanians with fresh, nutritious food prepared in ways that invest in the health, economy, cultures, environment, and well-being of all.”

Dawn Plummer, a PA Farm to School Network member, serves as director of the council. Learn more about Dawn’s experience and passion for farm-to-school in the “Meet Our Members” section below.

The council convenes regular interagency and stakeholder meetings that are open to the public. The Council — made up of secretaries and their designees from eight state agencies as well as a 16-seat Advisory Committee — kicked off its work in May 2023 with its first meeting, which was attended by more than 120 members of the public. In the first several meetings of the council, the council will assess challenges and establish its priorities.

Be sure to join the council’s next meeting on August 25, 2023 from 2 – 4 pm by clicking this link.

Find future council meeting schedules and agendas, and learn more about Pennsylvania’s efforts to strengthen and diversify our food system through investments like the PA Farm Bill at agriculture.pa.gov.