Baltimore has become a national model for cities across the county on implementing food policy initiatives and changing the city’s food environment.
In 2008, former Mayor Shelia Dixon convened a Food Policy Task Force to develop recommendations to increase access to healthy, affordable food in the city. The Task Force met for one year and was composed of 18 stakeholders. In May 2010, Mayor Rawlings-Blake held a press conference to release the ten Task Force Recommendations, introduce the newly hired the Food Policy Director, Holly Freishtat, and announce the formation of the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative (BFPI).
BFPI was commissioned to establish Baltimore as a leader in sustainable local food systems as a way to increase access to healthy food, implementing Greening Goal #2 of the Baltimore Sustainability Plan.
BFPI initially started in 2009 with seed funding from four foundations. The Food Policy Director was grant funded part-time in 2010-2011 and then transitioned to be funded full-time through the city’s general funds in fall 2011. The Food Policy Director has continued to secure foundation grants which has funded Baltimore Food Policy Initiative, Lexington Market Inc., Baltimore Public Market Corporation, Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts and Future Harvest.
- 2010-2011: Grant Funds were secured through Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore Community Foundation and The Abell Foundation to fund three new positions within BFPI; a full-time Food Access Coordinator, a full-time Healthy Food Coordinator, and a part-time School Food Liaison.
- 2011-2012: Current Funders include: Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic, Baltimore Community Foundation and The Abell Foundation.
The Baltimore Food Policy Initiative (BFPI) is an inter-governmental collaboration with the Department of Planning, Baltimore Office of Sustainability, Baltimore Development Corporation, and the Baltimore City Health Department. A key component of BFPI is the Food Policy Advisory Committee (Food PAC).
Food PAC consists of over 45 member organizations that represent stakeholders in Baltimore’s food production, distribution, and consumption system. The goal of Food PAC, Baltimore’s equivalent to a Food Policy Council, is to help implement the Food Policy Taskforce Recommendations. View a list of Food PAC Member Organizations.