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Action Plan Development
The Multnomah Food Initiative is an innovative partnership between community organizations, businesses, and local governments to promote a more sustainable, equitable and healthy local food system. Read about the start of the Multnomah Food Initiative in this Oregonian Article.
The goal of the Multnomah Food Initiative is to develop a shared community vision, collaborative food system goals, and a 15-year action plan that will:
1. Increase viable local options in our food system
2. Make the healthy choice an easier choice for all
3. Build systemic justice, health, and food security
4. Promote a thriving local economy
Phase 1: Building on Existing Efforts
In 2009, the Portland/Multnomah Food Policy Council submitted recommendations to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners to launch a countywide food system initiative. On September 10, 2009, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the recommendations and tasked the Office of Sustainability and the Health Department with creating the Multnomah Food Initiative. Multnomah County invited food system stakeholders from the community to join a Steering Committee to provide direction on the initiative's process and outcomes. At the end of this phase, Multnomah County released the Multnomah Food Report which synthesizes existing food system reports, assessments, and recommendations, provides background information on the purpose and goals of the Multnomah Food Initiative, and lays the foundation for the development of a food system action plan so that we are building off of existing efforts.
Phase 2: The Multnomah Food Summit
The first annual Multnomah Food Summit held on May 1, 2010 marked the second phase of the initiative and was co-hosted by Multnomah County and the Multnomah Food Initiative Steering Committee. The Summit was attended by over 200 food system stakeholders, as well as elected officials from Multnomah County, Metro, and the U.S. House of Representatives. The purpose of the Summit was to officially launch a planning process for a community strategic action plan for our local food system. Summit outcomes included networking stakeholders in our local food system, recognizing a community mandate for a shared vision and goals, and discussing a draft action plan framework.
Phase 3: Action Plan Development & Community Engagement
As we move into the third phase of the initiative, Multnomah County will host four community workshops (one for each action area of the action plan) in the fall of 2010 to further refine the action plan. To get involved, visit the Get Involved page. The Multnomah Food Action Plan will set forth our shared community vision, goals, and action plan and will be designed as a tool to help focus our community's resources and efforts on community-established priorities so that we plan and invest wisely.
Phase 4: Celebration & Implementation
Now that the Action Plan has been released it is time to celebrate! Everyone has a role in our food system and we invite organizations and individuals to show your support for the Plan by signing the online Declaration of Support. On January 27th, 2011, we will be hosting a Multomah Food Action Plan Celebration to recognize the tremendous effort and commitment of our community in developing one of the first community food system action plans in the nation. Food system stakeholders are invited to align their strategic efforts within the Plan and collaborate on the 65 actions identified as critical to transforming our food system. Working together we can overcome barriers, forge new partnerships, enact new policies, and raise awareness so that it will be easy for families to choose healthy and regionally-produced food.