About the Food System Coalition
The SLO County Food System Coalition, or FSC, is a collaborative network that brings together many sectors, from consumer groups to County government agencies, the Farm Bureau to the fishing community. Projects conducted by partner organizations are supported by the Coalition, which also forms its own projects to strengthen the local food system.
The FSC is currently hosted by the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County. Short-term and long-term work groups are formed around key issues and can include both Coalition members and other interested people. An elected Administrative Committee takes care of administrative functions.
The Food System Coalition was founded in June, 2011 by representatives from nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies from the social services, producers (farming, ranching, fishing), health, education, distribution, consumers, gardening, and retail. The FSC brings together stakeholders from diverse sectors to generate changes that will strengthen the local food system. We act to build consensus and bridges, strengthening both local agriculture and the environment. Together, we are creating a shared vision of a robust and sustainable land and community.
The FSC was formed as part of a USDA Hunger-Free Communities grant received by the Food Bank Coalition of SLO County last year. The first task of the Food System Coalition was to create a local Hunger-Free Community Plan. As part of the grant, we conducted a food security survey of 800 low-income residents, a food store survey of the county’s grocery stores, and inventories of local food system resources. We then used these resources, along with the accumulated wisdom of community members who have been participating in our planning process, to develop recommendations that will guide the county's efforts to end hunger and malnutrition in the coming decade.
The SLO FSC is also a ratified member of the California Food Policy Council (CA FPC), a statewide food policy council with over 25 member organizations from across California. As part of this group, the SLO FSC is also represented on the Central Valley/Mountain Regional Food Policy Council, which is a subgroup of the CA FPC, and works to collaborate on a regional level. The guiding principles of the CA FPC can be found here in the most recent version of their legislative report.
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