conceptualize food policy councils as convergences of human, environmental and historical activity. I describe how food policy councils use places to advance their objectives. There are three dimensions of place FPCs use: an overall geographic focus, meeting locations within that geographic focus and the physical layout inside a meeting location. Each place dimension also has a temporal dimension that affects an FPC’s relationship to place: the time-frame of a project, meeting times and frequency and amounts of time allocated to agenda items.
I describe how food policy councils meet their needs largely through membership recruitment. This can be conceptualized through a Needs-Recruitment Cycle in which an FPC identifies a need, recruits members and/or non-members to assist with that need, progression occurs on the project (either positive or negative), the FPC then re-identifies its needs (new or otherwise) and repeats the cycle. By joining an FPC, a member brings with them their expertise, but also their histories of privilege and power (or dispossession of it). Building relationships across these inequities and divides can be understood as acts of reconciliation. Following Hassanein’s (2003; 2008) contribution of theoretical elements to Food Democracy, and starting from Gabardi’s (2001) analysis of contemporary models of democracy, I argue the practice of FPCs offers a number of theoretical elements to our notions of Food Democracy.
Professional paper for the fulfillment of the Master of Public Affairs
"Winnowing Into Our Essence:" The Potential of Food Policy Councils for Place, Reconciliation and Food Democracy.
Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
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