The Montgomery County Food Security Plan Launched to the Public on April 6th, 2017
Many of our neighbors are deeply entrenched in poverty, and 70,000 of them are unsure of where or when they will get their next meal. The Montgomery County Food Security Plan is the blueprint for how every local business, nonprofit, government agency and resident can contribute to ensuring all County residents have access to sufficient, nutritious food.
The Food Security Plan was unveiled to the public on April 6th, 2017 at an event featuring the policymakers who led the Plan’s creation, local residents who have experienced firsthand the importance of food assistance resources, and community leaders who are integrating the Plan’s recommendations in their own organizational goals. The Food Council was honored to support the Office of the County Executive, along with a wide variety of community nonprofit, business, and government partners, in creating this comprehensive and collaborative strategic plan to provide all County residents access to safe, sufficient, nutritious food with dignity. Click on the links below to learn more about this comprehensive strategy to achieve our shared goal of food security for all in Montgomery County:
Click on the following links to view the media coverage of the Food Security Plan:
What is the Food Security Plan?
The Food Security Plan is a working document that is being created by the Innovation Program of Montgomery County. The purpose of the Food Security Plan is to:
- Greatly enhance the level of food security in Montgomery County
- Link County dollars spent on food assistance to the metrics defined in the Food Security Plan
- Guide non-profits seeking food assistance grant funding from the County
Background – The Food Security Plan resulted from the passage of Bill 19-16, The Strategic Plan to Achieve Food Security, which was introduced in the Montgomery County Council by Councilmember Roger Berliner in the Spring of 2016. Sixteen hunger relief and food system organizations testified in support of this legislation at a public hearing on June 14th. The bill was passed unanimously by the County Council on July 11th and the Innovation Program of Montgomery County is now tasked with creating a Food Security Plan in 2016.
Objectives of the Food Security Plan Monthly Meetings – Monthly meetings were held between August and November 2016 to engage stakeholders, food security professionals and residents in the creation of the Food Security Plan. The objective of these monthly meetings was to gather and incorporate valuable perspectives from a wide range of strategic partners to ultimately create a collaborative strategic plan to bring food security to all Montgomery County residents. Over 100 stakeholders and residents participated in these meetings.
Thank you to all who joined us for the first Community meeting on September 1st. If you missed it, you can review the meeting minutes with highlights from our discussion.
Additional Opportunities to Engage in the Process – In addition to attending the monthly Food Security Plan meetings and the Food Recovery and Access Working Group meetings, interested stakeholders were able to engage in the process by:
- Hosting a Listening Session – In order to solicit direct feedback from as many residents and communities as possible, County nonprofits, government agencies, and other partners were asked to host listening sessions with their clients and within their communities. Our partners hosted eleven listening sessions with more than 100 stakeholders.
- Subscribing to receive email updates on the Food Security Plan
Existing Food Security Plan Resources – As we worked together to develop a Food Security Plan for Montgomery County, we referenced a number of existing resources:
- Models from other jurisdictions, such as San Francisco, Nevada, Cook County, IL and Pioneer Valley, MA
- Community Food Access Assessment
- Manna Food Center Strategic Plan
- Food Assistance Resource Directory
What is the Food Action Plan?
The Food Action Plan is a comprehensive overview of the entire food system currently being created by the Montgomery County Food Council. The Food Security Plan will be an integral component of the Food Action Plan.
The Food Action Plan is being guided by four principles:
- Value 1: Inclusive Progress
- Value 2: Economic Opportunity
- Value 3: Education and Health
- Value 4: Environmental Integrity
Please check this page regularly for updates to the Food Action Plan, to review drafts, and to share your questions and feedback.