Columbia City Council recently passed a resolution to create the first municipal Food Policy Committee in South Carolina. Area groups — including the Midlands Food Alliance, USC’s School of Public Health, DHEC and City of Columbia Parks and Recreation — are behind the formation of the council, whose task will be “to develop and implement initiatives to promote a sustainable, financially viable food system and resolve issues related to food insecurity,” according to a news release from Mayor Steve Benjamin.
The city is looking for citizens from within the Columbia area who have an interest or background in food policy, public health, farming and producing, food processing and distribution, market managing and restaurants, and leaders from communities, neighborhoods and businesses.
According to the description at the city’s Boards & Commissions website, “the purpose of this committee is gather and address problems found within food production, consumption, processing, distribution, and waste disposal with the primary focus on finding solutions to problems that promote sustainability, economic development, and social justice in the food system of the Columbia and surrounding areas by educating government officials about issues of the food system, making policy recommendations, research, fostering of cooperation among private, public, and nonprofit interests. City Council has the final vote on approval or disapproval of recommendations.”