September 4, 2014

New Database of Food Policy Resources

Raychel Santo

Raychel Santo

Sr. Research Program Coordinator

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

The FPN database helps users locate policies, guides, reports and more.

The FPN database helps users locate policies, guides, reports and more.

Across the U.S., Canada, and Tribal/First Nations, at many levels of government, food policy work is happening—and making progress.

The Food Policy Networks Project at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) has been keeping tabs on some of the great work being done and can now make all those documents, websites, studies, and contact information available for all. The two new features include a database of policies, how-to guides, case studies and more, as well as a directory of food policy councils (FPCs) in the U.S., Canada, and First Nations.

Anne Palmer, a program director at CLF, said the need for these tools became apparent as work in food policy increased significantly over the past decade. “Our goal is to provide a resource for councils, coalitions, policymakers and other food system stakeholders that addresses the what and how of working on state and local food policy,” she said.

Here’s a bit of information about the tools, which can be found at

Food Policy Resource Database

This database could be useful for:

  • A local planner looking for what innovative policies other cities and counties have passed related to composting food waste
  • An academic researcher in search of case studies on the development of food policy councils (FPCs)
  • A member of a FPC looking for ideas on how to diversify its council’s membership
  • A tribal leader interested in ensuring food sovereignty through regional policy change
  • An urban homesteader pushing his or her city to permit beekeeping and chicken-raising
  • A SNAP administrator striving to make farmers markets’ accessible to all socioeconomic classes
  • A community member initiating a Community Food Assessment to contextualize his or her local food environment
  • A dining manager wanting to learn more about successful farm-to-institution policies and programs
  • A labor organizer wanting to ally with local and regional food policymakers on farmworker and other food justice initiatives
  • A livestock farmer working to adapt food processing regulations to meet the needs of small-scale producers
  • A curious citizen wants to see if/what food policy work has been taking place nearby

This comprehensive database can filter more than 500 resources (including academic literature, case studies, how-to guides, strategic plans, model legislation, policy briefs, and reports) aimed at all levels of government (city, county, state, regional, federal, and tribal/indigenous).

The resource topics are related to economic development, environmental sustainability, food processing, farm-to-institution procurement, hunger/food security, labor, and retail policy.

Our handy organizational filter gives you a chance to search for documents that specifically describe the roles and potential for food policy councils. These offer an introduction to the field and detail the steps necessary to creating, implementing, and evaluating food policy councils.

The database is an ongoing project, so if you have a suggestion about a resource to add, please email us at We will be adding new resources on a monthly basis.

Food Policy Council Directory

FPCs are a great way for food system stakeholders of all types – from farmers to government employees, non-profit leaders to active citizens – to engage in policymaking that directly affects them. But where do they exist and what are they up to?

To find out, the Center for a Livable Future began surveying FPCs across North America annually in 2012. This year’s improved directory is a user-friendly tool instead of a PDF, which means you can search for existing FPCs based on jurisdiction level – i.e., city/municipality, county (U.S.)/census division (Canada), state (U.S.)/province (or territory) (Canada), or tribal/indigenous.

Each entry in this directory includes contact information, links to webpages and social media sites, governance structures, top priorities, and notable accomplishments for the respective FPC.

We hope these new resources will help connect all of the innovative food reformers across North America in their efforts to improve the food-related health, sustainability, and resilience of communities through food policy.

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