Communities Putting Prevention to Work 1010 Lake Street, Suite 430, Oak Park, Illinois 60301Making suburban Cook County Phone 708.524.5156 Email firstname.lastname@example.org a healthier place to live, work and play. Website www.cookcountypublichealth.org Establishment of a Cook County Food Policy CouncilRequest: Pass a Cook County Board ordinance establishing a Food Policy Council for Cook CountyThe Cook County Food Policy Council, if endorsed by the County Board, would convene a variety of food policy stakeholders, fromgovernment to private agencies to individuals. These stakeholders would work to develop a plan that ensures all county residentshave access to healthy foods and would address issues related to the food system, from farm to table.Why Establish a Food Policy Council in Cook County?• A number of Cook County residents, in particular those living in the South and Southwest regions, lack ready access to stores selling healthy food.1• Living further from stores selling healthy food increases the risk for diet-related diseases, such as poor pregnancy outcomes and obesity.2• The establishment of a Cook County Food Policy Council will be a first step to coordinating and promoting healthy food access for all Cook County residents.• Food policy councils develop and strengthen relationships between government, non-profit and private organizations. • Cook County Government is uniquely positioned to lead this effort to ensure all residents have access to health food. What Can A Food Policy Council Do?• Food policy councils function as forums for concerned parties to address food issues and as platforms to develop consistent policy and program development in a specified region. • Food policy councils can provide a direct link between government agencies and concerned citizens. • By engaging a variety of stakeholders food policy councils can help ease the burden of coordinating food access issues on local governments. Basic Facts3• The first Food Policy Council started in 1982 in Knoxville, TN.• Today over 100 councils exist across the nation, and that number is growing. (http://www.foodsecurity.org/FPC/)• The Illinois Food, Farms, Jobs Council was created by state legislation and signed into law in 2010. This council is working to secure fresh food access to all Illinois residents.• The Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council was created in 2001 and is a private organization with active participation by city departments. It has held several networking forums and has produced a policy agenda to work with Chicago’s government stakeholders.• The Evanston Food Policy Council was founded in 2005 as a private organization and has since expanded to include the village of Skokie.• In summer 2010 the USDA released an RFA to address hunger that required applicants to partner with their local Food Policy Councils. 1 Block, D., Chavez, N. & Birgen, J. (2008). Finding Food in Chicago and the Suburbs: The Report of the Northeastern Illinois Community Food Security Assessment. Report to The Public. Chicago State University: Chicago, IL 2 USDA. 2010. Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences. 3 Drake University Agricultural Law Center. 2005. The State and Local Food Policy Project. http://www.law.drake.edu/centers/agLaw/docs/fpc_qna.pdf A partnership project led by the Cook County Department of Public Health and the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago.