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New Food Policy Council aims to expand access to healthy foods for all of Johnson County

The newly-created Johnson County Food Policy Council will help increase access to healthy foods for residents throughout the county. Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) has taken the lead on this issue with partners throughout the metro area representing all stages of the food system – from growing and production to distribution and food service.

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) chairman approved these members of the JCFPC.

       
Jasmin Moore Sustainability Manager Johnson County Department of Health and Environment
Craig Wood Solid Waste Management Coordinator Johnson County Department of Health and Environment
Karen Siebert Public Policy/Advocacy Advisor Harvesters-The Community Food Network
Lisa Ousley Executive Director After the Harvest
Adrienne Moore Baxter Registered Dietician/Consultant Food Talk Nutrition Consulting 
Rebecca Clark Owner/Operator Bo Ling's Chinese Restaurants
Chris DeVolder Sustainable Design Leader HOK, 18Broadway Urban Farm
Teresa M. Kelly Community Member Roeland Park, Kansas
Michael Rea Sustainability Project Manager Johnson County Community College
Jeanette Metzler Community Benefit Manager Shawnee Mission Health 
Roger Lambson Master Food Volunteers Advisory Board K-State Research and Extension
Phil Pisciotta Sales Agent Fresh Food Express LLC
Rachael McGinnis Millsap Director Farm to School Academy, KC Healthy Kids
Steven Newman  Dietitian / Nutrition Coordinator Olathe Public Schools Food Services
Sarah Dehart Faltico Program Mgr, Double of Food Bucks KC Cultivate KC
Ashley Follett Community Information Coordinator Johnson County Department of Health and Environment
Lisa Markley Kansas City Community Liason Whole Foods Market
Joan Leavens  Sustainability, Community Engagement Coordinator Shawnee Mission School District
Mary Lou Jaramillo Project Consultant, Olathe Latino Coalition  Significant Matters, Inc.
Vacant   Olathe Representative City Of Olathe
       
Johson County Food Policy Council Advisory Member  
Kevin Walker Regional Vice President of Advocacy  American Heart Association

The JCFPC will advise the BOCC on policies and practices that could effectively address food access, hunger, obesity, community development, economic development, agriculture, food waste, and nutrition and food education. 

“The availability of nutritious food for all citizens is essential to the health and well-being of the community,” says Lougene Marsh, JCDHE director. “Recent data shows that 61% of Johnson Countians are overweight or obese.  We also have a 12% food insecurity rate (over 65,000 individuals) who may not know where their next meal is coming from. Something needs to be done to address these issues at all levels.”

In 2011, JCDHE conducted a community health assessment which resulted in a five-year plan with the goal of increasing the availability of healthy food as one of its top priorities. In 2012 after receiving a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, JCDHE formed an Access to Healthy Food Coalition to further study the issue.

This coalition has spent the past four years studying Johnson County’s food system and identifying additional partners interested in working together to increase access to healthy, fresh, and affordable food for all Johnson Countians. The group determined there was interest in creating a food policy council, which would include representatives such as local government, agriculture producers, anti-hunger organizations, retail food outlets, local health systems, school districts, and charitable organizations. The BOCC approved the creation of that council earlier this month.

The Council will first prioritize parts of Olathe, Overland Park and Edgerton that have been previously identified by the coalition as food deserts - a geographic area where affordable and nutritious food is hard to obtain particularly for those without access to an automobile.  

For questions about the JCFPC, please contact Renee Bryant, community wellness coordinator for the Department of Health & Environment.
(913) 477-8325
Renee.Bryant@jocogov.org