What’s New in 2023

Looking ahead to the coming year of local food system transformation!

With the new year comes exciting transitions and initiatives at the Food Council! After celebrating our 10th anniversary and completing a multi-year process of creating our first-ever organizational strategic plan in 2022, we’re energized to launch 2023 with expanded and restructured collaborative initiatives guided by our refreshed mission and vision: building an equitable, resilient and sustainable local food system that is healthy for our community, economy, and environment. Thank you to all our nonprofit, government, business, and community partners whose contributions made the many collective accomplishments of our first decade possible. We are looking forward to continuing this critical work together to transform our local food system over the next decade.

So, what’s new in 2023?

Systems-based Community Convenings: Policy Priority Working Groups and Food Systems Advocacy Call

A key finding of our strategic planning process is that as our work has grown, it has become increasingly siloed. To strengthen the impact of our advocacy, and engage more voices and expertise in this work, the Food Council will more intentionally connect our policy priorities with our convening initiatives by evolving our Food Economy, Food Education, and Environmental Impact Working Groups into three new monthly community convenings:

We will continue to connect our food security community partners the 2nd Monday of every month at 1pm in our Food Security Community Call. Don’t miss our next call on Monday February 13th from 1-2:30pm! Register here to attend. 

Collaboratives: SNAP Enrollment * Resident & Community Gardening * Sustainability (*NEW!) 

A core purpose of the Food Council continues to be facilitating spaces where local and regional partners can connect around shared areas of focus. Our Collaboratives are communities of practice which offer a more grassroots approach to facilitating discussion, resource communication, and best practice sharing to specific areas of our food system. These groups are also important opportunities to identify policy and program challenges and opportunities that will inform our advocacy initiatives. Visit our website to learn more about these network gatherings around specific topics of interest and sign up for the Google group, or join us for an upcoming meeting:

Special Events

Throughout the year, we will also host Lunch & Learns, happy hours at MoCo Made businesses, service learning events, exclusive tours, and other opportunities to connect with friends and colleagues in our community.

Leadership

As always, our initiatives will be led and informed in partnership with our Food Council and Board of Directors members, Alumni Circle, and Food Security Community Advisory Board. In addition, our team will continue to lead and engage in statewide and regional systems building efforts, including the Maryland Food System Resiliency Council and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments FARM Committee plus through our newly funded Regional Food Systems Partnership grant from the USDA.

Join us!

To stay up-to-date with all the exciting opportunities to collaborate, advocate, and connect please:

We look forward to the critical work ahead this year. Thank you to you, all our community partners, for the expertise, insight, and time you contribute to our collective efforts! 

Upcoming Events

Jan 24

Food System Advocacy Community Call

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Jan 27

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Training

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Training

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feb 2-april 6

Beginning Farmer Training Course

10-week course, meeting every Thursday evening from 7:00pm-8:30pm from February 2 through April 6, 2023.

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Feb 2

Sustainability Collaborative Launch Meeting

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Feb 3

Montgomery County Grants Nonprofit Feedback Session

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Feb 13

Food Security Community Call

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Feb 16

Increased Local Food Procurement Policy Priority Working Group Launch

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Feb 23

6th ANNUAL MoCo Food Producer Forum, Thurs, Feb 23, 9:30-12:30 at Ag History Farm Park (with lunch!)

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Mar 7

Equitable & Affordable Land Access for Food Production Policy Priority Working Group Launch

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