On December 20, 2010, eighty-six Maryland stakeholders held a three-hour community conversation at Montgomery County’s Agricultural History Farm Park. It was a diverse gathering of concerned residents and local leaders who sat down together and discussed the outline of a bold vision for a Sustainable Community Food System Initiative for Montgomery County. The stakeholders included experienced and new farmers, county government officials, nonprofit leaders, community activists, and business entrepreneurs from companies large and small.
It was determined that the appropriate next step was to create a Food Policy Council for Montgomery County. Subsequent follow-up meetings were convened to establish an advisory board, finalize the Office of the County Executive funding to create the Food Council, and hire a Coordinator.
The Montgomery County Food Council was officially launched in February 2012. Its 25 current Council Members broadly represent the food system both substantively and geographically, and include chef restaurateurs, food entrepreneurs, and representatives of local government, non-profits, and business. The Food Council is in the process of obtaining 501(c) 3, non-profit status to better fulfill its social mission and receive philanthropic funding.