The Central Kootenay Food Policy Council was formed in late 2016. It was the result of many years of reports, studies and meetings that determined that a coordinated approach to resolving issues related to hunger, agriculture, land, water and more, can be better realized by consistently connecting our communities, organizations and local government. A project was launched in April 2016, as a joint initiative of the Regional District of Central Kootenay, Community Futures Central Kootenay, and the BC Food Systems Network.
An Advisory Committee was struck to guide the activities of the project and its Coordinator, Abra Brynne. The Food Policy Council draft Terms of Reference and Governance Model were developed and approved by the Project Advisory Committee for the use of the eventual Council, which was established in late 2016. A Selection Committee was formed to review the applications, create a slate of proposed Council members, and present it for approval by the Advisory Committee. The Selection Committee drew on the Governance Matrix, used an Application Assessment Form and then combined a qualitative and quantitative approach in order to determine the slate of applicants to be put forward for approval.
The inaugural Council was announced in early December 2016, and the first meeting of the Food Policy Council took place in January 2017. The March 2017 meeting was our first in-person meeting and included a review of the Council’s Terms of Reference, a group process to refine a mission statement, and a discussion of work to be done.
Since then, the Council has met 5 – 6 times per year, with a mix of in person meetings and teleconferences or Zoom meetings. Our in-person meeting take place at various locations around the region. The general public is welcome at any of our in-person meetings. We have an Executive Committee that meets in the months between full Council meetings and oversees the work of the Executive Director.
Numerous individuals and organizations have been involved and supported this project since its early days. We gratefully acknowledge the support of our inaugural funders: the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the Community Food Action Initiative, in co-operation with Interior Health, the Columbia Basin Trust, the Osprey Foundation and Regional District of Central Kootenay Directors Davidoff (Area I), Faust (Area E), Jackman (Area A), Kozak (City of Nelson), Peterson (Area K), Popoff (Area H), Wall (Area B), and Watson (Area D).
A Case Study was written that documents the creation of the Food Policy Council and the lessons learned along the way.