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Research & Data

  • 2012 Faith Based Survey
  • 2012 Resident Survey
  • 2012 Stakeholder Survey
  • 2015 Food Access Assessment
  • 2016 Feeding Agency Survey Questionnaire
  • 2016 Feeding Agency Survey Results
  • 2016 Johnson County Food Assessment

Local Food Development

Harvesting a Growing Economy

Consumers in Johnson County want to purchase locally-grown food products, yet we have a $177 million unmet demand for local food in our region. Johnson County is well positioned to support this rising demand by advancing our local food economy.

The Rising Demand for Local Food 

  • In 2015, local food sales totaled $8.7 billion in the United States. This showed a twofold increase in local food sales from 2008.
  • Data shows that farmers who sell into local markets are more likely to “survive” than other farming & ranching operators.
  • Johnson County accounts for 27% of the unmet demand for local food in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The Benefits of Local Food

Economic Benefits

Buying locally-grown food keeps a greater proportion—25% more—of every food dollar in the local economy ($.65 vs $.40, respectively). This helps farmers grow their business, enables them to expand their employment of local farm laborers, and helps prevent the loss of agricultural land in Johnson and surrounding counties. 

Health Benefits

The amount of time between harvest and consumption of many fruits and vegetables affects its nutrient content and composition. When locally-grown food is consumed within a shorter harvest-to-consumption timeframe, it retains more of its nutritional value. Research also hows that buying local is correlated with a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Meeting the Need Through Local Agriculture

1.  Only 101 of our 91,000 farm acres currently grow fruits and/or vegetables 2.  A significant amount of our land (45%) is zoned for agricultural purposes. 3.  Proximity to farmers markets and other urban core positions us well for food distribution 4.  243 farms in our country each profited less than $2,500 in 2012 5.  The average age of farmers in our country is 60.02 years old.

Labor shortages, land access, the age of farmers, and farm profitability are all challenges in our county.

Further Assessment is needed

Johnson County Food Policy Council will conduct a food policy audit of Johnson County policies at county government, city government and institutional levels that affect the production, sourcing, purchasing and consumption of local food.  Policy support ensures our agriculture land is profitable for farmers while still meeting local needs.


PREPARE what you can eat, SAVE what you don't!

Save the Food Johnson County - the Johnson County Food Policy Council (FPC) is teaming up with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Ad Council to launch their national public service campaign SAVE THE FOOD that aims to combat wasted food from its largest source - consumers - by raising awareness and changing behavior.

kansas health logo

Hunger Free Healthcare

JOHNSON COUNTY is served by several large healthcare organizations with innumerable clinics, hundreds of healthcare providers and several safety net organizations. Even with such a robust network of organizations and programs aimed at addressing the food insecurity problem, the need for healthy, affordable food is still challenging. 

Addressing SDOH’s Are Important in Addressing Food Insecurity

As healthcare delivery moves towards a population health paradigm they are recognizing the significance of addressing Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). SDOH’s are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. Research shows only a portion of health can be attributed to medical/clinical care.

To improve the health of the communities they serve, hospitals must recognize and address the behavioral, socio-economic and environmental factors that contribute to health and how it affects food insecurity of our community.

FOOD INSECURITY refers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s measure  of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.

Healthcare Systems Should Get Involved

  • Food insecurity is a social determinate of health.
  • Hunger is associated with serious medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and poverty-related obesity. 
  • Left untreated, hunger will undermine a patient’s health and contribute to the onset – or worsening –of disease that can lead to an increase in hospital readmissions and medical treatments.
  • Hunger increases the cost of health care in both children and the elderly.

Healthcare Systems Can Affect Healthy Food Access 

  • Operate federal nutrition and food assistance programs.
  • Conduct outreach and eligibility screening for nutrition assistance programs.
  • Connect patients with food/nutrition resources.
  • Offer access to fresh produce through on-site gardens and farmers' markets.
  • Teach nutrition education and cooking demonstrations.

TAKE ACTION

  1. Screen patients for hunger and food insecurity by integrating the Children's HealthWatch Hunger Vital Sign™, a two-question screening tool based on the U.S. Household Food Security Scale, as part of annual population health surveys given to children and adults at clinical and hospital visits.
  2. Educate and train leaders and staff on food insecurity and the importance of universal screening. Include corporate food insecurity screening in the institutional workflow.
  3. Collect data to inform programming and public policy regarding the health impact of food insecurity.

PREPARE what you can eat, SAVE what you don't!

Save the Food Johnson County - the Johnson County Food Policy Council (FPC) is teaming up with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Ad Council to launch their national public service campaign SAVE THE FOOD that aims to combat wasted food from its largest source - consumers - by raising awareness and changing behavior.

kansas health logo

Growing Food We Eat

The Benefits of Gardening at home:

1. PHYSICAL HEALTH

Food consumed closer
to its harvest date is
more nutrient dense.
Gardening helps youth
and adults meet recommended physical
activity levels.

2.  CHOICE

Food grown at
home have a more
controlled level
of fertilizers and
pesticides, if any.

3.  YOUTH

Youth who garden
are likely to eat more
vegetables, learn
translatable academic
skills, and share quality
outdoor time with
their family. 

4.  ECONOMICS

Youth who garden
are likely to eat more
vegetables, learn
translatable academic
skills, and share quality
outdoor time with
their family. 

HOME GARDENING benefits you and your family, our society and community, and our environment.

HOME GARDENS TAKE MANY FORMS come in an array of styles, types and sizes, and may be located anywhere from walls to roofs, patios and backyards. Important factors to consider when planning your home garden include sunlight, water, convenience (or nearness to home), air, drainage and soil.

Johnson County has potential to grow food in over 233,000 homes. 

Resources for Learning How to Grow at Home

  • Garden with recommended fruit and vegetable varieties which have been proven to produce. Johnson County K-State Research and Extension has the practical information needed for success. Crop specific fact sheets, educational classes, and experts ready to answer your fruit and vegetable questions. Just contact the gardening hotline at garden.help@jocogov.org or 913-715-7050 or on the web at https://www.johnson.k-state.edu/.
  • Learn to grow food in your garden or on a small farm at Johnson County Community College (JCCC) using sustainable practices. They offer individual classes as well as a certificate program, for more information visit, https://www.jccc.edu/ and search “sustainable agriculture”.
  • Attend a free garden workshop at the Kansas City Community Gardens (KCCG) or visit https://kccg.org/ for instructional materials on low cost gardening, composting, watering and more
placeholder

Having clear and concise guidelines around gardening can help clear-up confusion and misconception among homeowners of HOA gardening restrictions

 

Recommendations for Gardening at Home

  1. Ask your HOA for a copy of their by-laws and restrictions

    • Getting a copy of your HOA by-laws and restrictions is the first step in understanding what you are allowed to do in your yard. If your HOA does not provide you with access to their by-laws and restrictions, or if you need help creating by-laws, contact the FPC.
  2. Understand your city’s gardening codes and ordinances

    • Codes and ordinances can be confusing or highly dependent upon your property, zoning and lot location/size. Call your city’s zoning department for the clearest guidelines that affect your personal land restrictions.
    • • Make sure you are gardening on your property. For example, if a piece of land on your property falls within an easement or utility line, it can be subject to disruption or removal

PREPARE what you can eat, SAVE what you don't!

Save the Food Johnson County - the Johnson County Food Policy Council (FPC) is teaming up with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Ad Council to launch their national public service campaign SAVE THE FOOD that aims to combat wasted food from its largest source - consumers - by raising awareness and changing behavior. 

 

kansas health logo

Food Waste Solutions

40% OF FOOD PRODUCED IN THE UNITED STATES IS NEVER EATEN

  • U.S. households waste an estimated 76 billion pounds of food, or 238 pounds of food per person annually.
  • This costs $450 per person, or $1,800 per year for a household of four.

THIS IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST FOOD

It’s about how our food system uses a considerable amount of our resources. Wasted food translates to $218 billion lost. The financial cost of food waste is greatest for consumers since they pay retail prices for food.

Johnson County Landfill

landfill graph

Food is a major contributor to the waste going into area landfills. A 2016 study of landfill waste calculated that 23% of Johnson County waste is food. We want a community where people and animals are fed before landfills.

How we shop and eat makes a difference

  • Households are responsible for the largest portion of all food waste
  • Because it has undergone more transport, storage, and often cooking, throwing food away at the consumer level has a larger resource footprint than at any other point of the food chain.
trash can image 
Why Do We Waste?
check box 
What You Can Do at Home
  • Consumers’ lack of awareness and information
  • Confusion over date labels
  • Poor storage
  • Poor planning
  • Impulse and bulk purchases
  • Overproduction
  • Shop wisely, plan meals, use shopping lists, purchase accurate quantities, and avoid impulse buys.
  • Interpret date labels as estimates of top quality rather than end dates for safety.
  • Prepare appropriate amounts of food and save leftovers.
  • Freeze food before it spoils, including milk, cheese, eggs, and meat.

PREPARE what you can eat, SAVE what you don't!

Save the Food Johnson County - the Johnson County Food Policy Council (FPC) is teaming up with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Ad Council to launch their national public service campaign SAVE THE FOOD that aims to combat wasted food from its largest source - consumers - by raising awareness and changing behavior.

kansas health logo

Food Policy Council

Food Policy Council

The Johnson County Food Policy Council serves an advisory body to the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and other decision makers in Johnson County that review and recommend policies to strengthen the local food economy and improve access to healthy and nutritious food.

Vision:

The Vision of Johnson County Food Policy Council is to improve the health and well-being of citizens, communities and the environment of Johnson County.

Mission:

The mission of the Johnson County Food Policy Council is to improve the health and well-being of individuals, the community and our environment through a just, equitable and sustainable food system in Johnson County. Through policy recommendations, education and collaborations, we strive to increase access to healthful food that is locally produced when available.

  • Johnson County Food Policy Council (JCFPC) will achieve its mission by:
  • Creating a forum for discussion and coordination for community-wide efforts to improve the nutritional, environmental, economic and social health of Johnson County.
  • Building the capacity of local food policy bodies to find common ground on policy priorities, generate public support for those policies, and educate residents and community leaders on issues in our food system.
  • Developing strategies to effectively address food access, hunger, obesity, community development, economic development, urban agriculture, food waste, nutrition and food education.

 

Food Council Meeting Information

All Food Policy Council meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Olathe JCDHE location. If you need agenda and/or meeting minutes from previous meetings, please contact Renee Bryant

2020 Meeting Dates: 

No March meeting

April 21, 2020 via Zoom

The next meeting is Tuesday, June 16, 2020 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The meeting will be held via Zoom. Please email renee.bryant@jocogov.org for participation information.

 

2019 Meeting Dates:

  • April 17, 2019 - 6000 Lamar Avenue,  Mission, KS 66202
    • Agenda | Minutes
  • May 15, 2019 - 11875 S Sunset, Olathe, KS  66061
    • Agenda | Minutes
  • June 19, 2019 - 6000 Lamar Avenue, Mission, KS 66202
    • Agenda | Minutes
  • July 17, 2019 - 11875 S Sunset, Olathe, KS  66061
    • Agenda | Minutes
  • August 21, 2019 - 6000 Lamar Avenue, Mission, KS 66202
    • Agenda | Minutes
  • September 19, 2019 - 11875 S Sunset, Olathe, KS  66061
    • Agenda | Minutes
  • October 19, 2019 - 6000 Lamar Avenue, Mission, KS 66202
    • Agenda | Minutes
  • November 19, 2019 - 11875 S Sunset, Olathe, KS  66061
    • Agenda | Minutes
  • December 19, 2019 - 6000 Lamar Avenue, Mission, KS 66202

 

Current Members

2019 Members List

Johnson County Food Policy Council {JCFPC) Members - Johnson County Department of Health and Environment {JCDHE)
Renee Bryant, JCFPC Coordinator, JCDHE

Council Members:

Adrienne Moore Baxter – Chair
Title: Registered Dietitian/Consultant
Affiliation: Food Talk Nutrition Consulting
 
Angela Parks
Title: Teen Services Supervisor
Affiliation: Olathe Public Library

Brian Alferman
Title: Sustainability Program Manager
Affiliation: JCDHE

Craig Wood
Title: Solid Waste Management Coordinator
Affiliation: JCDHE

Claire Sinovic
Title: Nutritional Health Coach
Affiliation: Natural Grocers

Jeanette Metzler
Title: Community Benefit Manager
Affiliation: Shawnee Mission Health

Jenny Doty
Title: Recreation Supervisor
Affiliation: City of Lenexa Parks and Recreation Department

Joan Leavens
Title: Sustainability, Community Engagement Coordinator
Affiliation: Shawnee Mission School District

Karen Siebert
Title: Public Policy/Advocacy Advisor
Affiliation: Harvesters-The Community Food Network

Mary Lou Jaramillo – Secretary
Title: Project Consultant, Olathe Latino Coalition
Affiliation: Significant Matters, Inc.

Michael Rea - Vice Chair
Title: Sustainability Project Manager
Affiliation: Johnson County Community College

Rachael McGinnis Millsap
Title: Director
Affiliation: Farm to School Academy, KC Healthy Kids

Rebecca Clark
Title: Owner/Operator
Affiliation: Bo Ling's Chinese Restaurants
 
Tara Markley
Title: Director
Affiliation: Johnson County K-State Research and Extension

Johnson County Food Policy Council Advisory Member:

Penny Harrell - Physical Scientist - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Jim Callier - Chief - Resource Conservation and Materials Management Section - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  

JCDHE Staff:

Barbara Mitchell - Community Health Division Director, PIO - JCDHE

Carey Yale - Administrative Coordinator - JCDHE

Mary Beverly - Deputy Director - JCDHE

Ashley Follett - Community Information Coordinator - JCDHE

 

The Johnson County Food Policy Council (FPC) serves as an advisory body that reviews and recommends policies to the Board of County Commissioners and other pertinent entities to strengthen the local food economy and improve access to healthy and nutritious food.

The mission of the Johnson County Food Policy Council is to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals, the community and our environment through a just, equitable and sustainable food system in Johnson County.

Through policy recommendations, education and collaborations, we strive to increase access to healthful food that is locally produced when available.

The Johnson County Food Policy Council will:

  • Create a forum for discussion and coordination for community-wide efforts to improve the nutritional, environmental, economic, and social health of Johnson County.
  • Build the capacity of local food policy bodies to find common ground on policy priorities, generate public support for those policies, and educate residents and community leaders on issues in our food system.
  • Develop strategies to effectively address food access, hunger, obesity, community development, economic development, agriculture, food waste, and nutrition and food education.

Members of the Johnson County Food Policy Council will:

  • Serve for a term of three (3) years.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to respectfully engage diverse stakeholders within the community and seek to understand their concerns.
  • Be willing to engage in problem-solving and decision making.
  • Be willing to work in the public interest for the benefit of the food system, rather than directly representing any organization with which they are affiliated.
  • Attend monthly FPC meetings as stated in by-laws.
  • Engage in working groups.
  • Be willing to bring organizational resources to the table.
  • Commit to gaining consensus on issues.

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