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.