Board Members

Carrie Draper, Chairperson
USC - Center for Research in Nutrition & Health Disparities


Lisa Turansky, Vice-Chairperson

Coastal Conservation League


Ben Boyles, Secretary

Clemson University Extension
Catawba Farm & Food Coalition


Anna Hamilton
SC Community Loan Fund

 

Dave Lamie
Clemson University


Diana Vossbrinck
Anderson Area Farm & Food Association


Emily M. Joyce

South Carolina Department of Agriculture Liaison

About the Council

Beginning in March 2005, volunteers formed a steering committee to begin the discussion and exploration of creating a statewide food policy council that would work towards the improvement and expansion of healthier and more informed food choices by South Carolinians. As a result of the steering committee findings, on March 17, 2006, the SC Food Policy Council (FPC) held its first general membership meeting and continued to meet throughout the year.

General members of the FPC include representatives from state government agencies, university faculty members, agricultural commodity associations, food banks, farmers, elected officials, and agribusiness representatives.


The FPC serves as a forum for members to share their concerns as well as their progress on related programs and initiatives that are related to the food system here in South Carolina. The networking opportunities and the information shared at these meetings have greatly benefited many of the members of the Council as they work towards the goals of continued growth, promotion and protection of a healthy agricultural industry and a safe and plentiful food supply in South Carolina.

Our Mission

The SCFPC exists to advance the consumption and production of healthy foods in South Carolina through education and strategic policy planning.

What is a Food Council?

By drawing on the knowledge and experience of people from all segments of the local food system, a Food Policy Council becomes a source of information for the policy makers in government.   A council can also help government agencies see how their actions affect the food system.

 

No state or city has a “Department of Food,” but a food policy council can take on

the essence of that role.  It can look for those areas among government agencies  where food issues intersect.  FPCs can also be a bridge between the public and private sectors on food issues. And they can be a primary source of food education for the citizens at large, addressing such topics as:

 

  • nutrition
  • food-related health issues
  • sustainable farming
  • equitable access to healthy food
  • economic development related to food

 

Another good answer for why food policy councils are important: FPCs foster communication and civic action at the grassroots. They’re a chance for people to  shape, from the bottom up, the nature of a system that can seem distant and bewildering, even as it affects so much of their lives. Achieving food democracy and social justice is a key part of any food policy council’s mission.

What is a Food System?

A community food system is a food system in which food production, processing, distribution and consumption are integrated to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of a particular place. A community food system can refer to a relatively small area, such as a neighborhood, or progressively larger areas – towns, cities, counties, regions, or bioregions. The concept of community food systems is sometimes used interchangeably with “local” or “regional” food systems, but by including the word “community” there is an emphasis on strengthening existing (or developing new) relationships among all components of the food system.


Four aspects distinguish community food systems from the globalized food system that typifies the source of most food Americans eat: food security, proximity, self-reliance and sustainability.


  • Food security is a key goal of community food systems. While food security traditionally focuses on individual and household food needs, community food security addresses food access within a community context, especially for low-income households. It has a simultaneous goal of developing local food systems.
  • Proximity refers to the distance between various components of the food system. In community food systems such distances are generally shorter than those in the dominant or global food system. This proximity increases the likelihood that enduring relationships will form between different stakeholders in the food system – farmers, processors, retailers, restaurateurs, consumers, etc.
  • Self-reliance refers to the degree to which a community meets its own food needs. While the aim of community food systems is not total self-sufficiency (where all food is produced, processed, marketed and consumed within a defined boundary), increasing the degree of self-reliance for food, to be determined by a community partnership, is an important aspect of a community food system.
  • Sustainability refers to following agricultural and food system practices that do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their food needs. Sustainability includes land and environmental protection, profitability, ethical treatment of food system workers, and community development

Source: Cornell University