IAPO Workgroup Spotlight: Local Food Systems/Access

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The Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity’s (IAPO) Roadmap charts a course to ensure that obesity trends in Illinois are stable by 2015 and moving downward by 2018 through the promotion and adoption of nutrition and physical activity policy and environmental change interventions. IAPO convenes six workgroups to focus on the goals and objectives contained in the IAPO Roadmap.

The IAPO Local Food Systems workgroup focuses on issues that were identified at the 2012 Healthy Farms, Healthy People Symposium.  The workgroup is focused on increasing access and consumption of healthy, locally grown food by addressing issues related to food security, food safety, and production and processing of locally-produced food.

The workgroup had a productive 2013, working on three priorities:

  • Researched assets and needs related to shared-use kitchens (SUKs) in Illinois. The group worked to gather information on existing SUKs and to better understand the context in which SUKs operate, how they are structured and common challenges and opportunities. Check out this map of SUKs in Illinois.
  • Submitted comments on the  proposed rules for the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and shared information with IAPO partners.
  • Worked to get information about local food systems research needs in the hands of researchers, college faculty and practitioners across the state.

Next up for 2014:

  • Advocating for expanded access to shared-use kitchens.  
  • Building stronger linkages with anti-hunger and food security efforts across the state.
  • Working with IAPO’s “Nutrition in Community Settings” workgroup to look at ways to implement SNAP incentives for double value purchasing at farmers markets in Illinois.
  • Continuing to share information with IAPO members about advocacy, rulemaking and implementation for federal policies such as FSMA and the Farm Bill.

If you are interested in joining the workgroup or learning more, please contact Jess Lynch at Jessica.Lynch@iphionline.org

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