BFBLGLV convenes the Thriving Local Food System branch of the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council and chairs both the Farm to School and Infrastructure working groups.

The LV Food Policy Council was formed in 2015 as a result of recommendations in BFBLGLV’s Assessment Report: Lehigh Valley Local Food Economy and Fresh Food Action Plan. These were presented to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and incorporated into its final report One Lehigh Valley for the Envision Lehigh Valley initiative, which was funded by a HUD Sustainable Communities Grant.

The Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council will seek to promote an environmentally healthy food system by strengthening the local food economy, increasing access to fresh foods for everyone, reducing food insecurity, and supporting local farming in the Lehigh Valley.

The Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council has nine working groups. We welcome your participation. Please contact the following working group chairs to get involved.

Food Security Groups

1. Food Access

Co-Chairs:
Janet Ney, CACLV jney@caclv.org 484-287-4015
Diane Elliott, New Bethany Ministries delliott@newbethanyministries.org 610-691-5602

Action Item:
Making healthy food accessible to families in the summer.

2. Consumer Education

Co-Chairs:
Cathy Coyne, Lehigh Valley Health Network cathy_a.coyne@lvhn.org 610-297-2678
Hollie Gibbons, St. Luke’s University Health Network hollie.gibbons@sluhn.org 484-526-2301

Action Item:
Assessing existing nutrition education programs.  Identifying resources, gaps and best practices.

3. Organic Agriculture and Community Gardens

Co-Chairs:
Jesse Barrett, Rodale Institute jesse.barrett@rodaleinstitute.org 484-894-8448
Sophia Feller, West Ward Neighborhood Partnership sfeller@caclv.org

Action Item:
Creating a network for organic agriculture and community gardens. Establishing and connecting with coordinators; growing community support and involvement.

4. Food Recovery and Respect

Co-Chairs: 
Nancy Walters, Easton Hunger Coalition nancywalters@rcn.com 610-253-0726
Kate Semmens, Nurture Nature Center ksemmens@nurturenature.org 610-253-4432

Action Item:
Engaging all points of where food can be rescued and educating ourselves to create a Lehigh Valley model, including work on legislation that supports goals of food respect:  field; processing/distribution; retail/grocery/restaurant; plate/leftover; and compost.  Exploring all available models including technology.

Thriving Local Food System Groups

5. Farmland Preservation

Co-Chairs: 
Julie Thomases, RenewLV jthomases@yahoo.com 484-358-1200
Geoff Reese, Lehigh Valley Planning Commission greese@lvpc.org

Action Item: 
Preserving farmland

6. Farm to School

Chair:
Allison Czapp, BFBLGLV allison@nurturenaturecenter.org 610-216-7659

Action Item:  
Advocate and facilitate local and regional purchasing by Lehigh Valley school districts

7. Farming

Chair:
Brian Moyer, Penn State Extension bfm3@psu.edu 610-391-9840

Action Item: 
Identifying “missing middle” training, markets, land access, zoning, regulations landowners operations and scale.

8. Infrastructure

Co-Chairs:
Lynn Prior, BFBLGLV lynn@nurturenaturecenter.org 610-703-6954
Jon Middleton, Sodexo Jon.Middleton@sodexo.com

Action Item: 
Improving infrastructure (processing, aggregation & distribution facilities) for locally grown foods in the Lehigh Valley by identifying needs and working towards possible solutions.

9. Entrepreneurship

Chair:
Jessica Dokachev, Northampton County DCED JDokachev@northamptoncounty.org 610-559-3200 extension #5

Action Item:
Exploring feasible opportunities and potential partners for business incubation and shared-use food business spaces to improve opportunities for small businesses.

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