“Food democracy is the idea that people can and should be actively participating in shaping the food system, rather than remaining passive spectators on the sidelines.”* Food Policy Councils are an innovation in democracy. By uniting stakeholders from farm to fork and beyond - farmers, food distributors, hunger advocates, grocers, chefs, policymaker, community residents - Food Policy Councils create a pathway for all of us to get involved in changing the food system. There are over 300 Food Policy Councils in the nation.

Every Food Policy Council is different, but what we have in common is a desire to connect diverse stakeholders from across the food system to address systemic issues like hunger, health, the environment and the economy.

As the largest Food Policy Council in the country, Los Angeles Food Policy Council serves as backbone organization for a network of over 400 organizations and agencies working for healthy, sustainable and fair food. To promote cross-sector collaboration, we coordinate an ecosystem of active Working Groups, a “Network” public event series, and high-level coordination among food leaders.

Borrowing from various theories of network-based change including collective impact and emergent strategy, we believe that systems change through “critical connections”* across diverse and cross-sector partnerships.

*(See Adrienne Maree Brown’s “Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds.”)

* Hassanein, N. (2003) Practicing Food Democracy: a pragmatic politics of transformation. Journal of Rural Studies, 19, 77-86

About Food Policy Councils, featuring Executive Director Clare Fox: