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Food Policy Task Force

Howard County’s Food Pol­icy Task Force met in 2014 to develop a strat­egy for the best, most forward-thinking food sys­tem pos­si­ble in Howard County. The task force was made up of lead­ers in the fields of food pro­duc­tion, restau­rants, the com­mu­nity col­lege, and the cor­rec­tions sys­tem. It also had mem­bers who work on behalf of our vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions. The 2014 Meet­ing Notes can be found by click­ing on the months here: Jan­u­ary, Feb­ru­ary, March, April, May, June, July, August, Sep­tem­ber, Octo­ber, and Decem­ber.

In less than a year, the task force devel­oped a food hub plan that would take our health and nutri­tion efforts to the next level. The food hub would be a cen­tral­ized loca­tion where we can col­lect, store, and dis­trib­ute region­ally pro­duced food. Restau­rants, nurs­ing homes, hos­pi­tals, senior cen­ters, our Recre­ation and Parks pro­grams and oth­ers will be able to rely on this sup­ply of fresh, local food.

The food hub plan would also pro­vide a com­mer­cial kitchen to become an incu­ba­tor for new food busi­nesses, so that entre­pre­neurs have a place where they can cre­ate healthy food and get it to those same con­sumers. Another rec­om­men­da­tion was a Mobile Mar­ket, bring­ing locally grown fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles right to the peo­ple who need them.

The Food Pol­icy Task Force Report — The rec­om­men­da­tions of the task force pro­vide a guide to tack­ling the chal­lenge of pro­vid­ing fresh, healthy food to all res­i­dents ‚strength­en­ing the agri­cul­tural econ­omy, and improv­ing our over­all food system.

The Rov­ing Radish Final Report – A sum­mary of the 2014 pilot pro­gram that brought healthy, afford­able, con­ve­nient, and fresh food to Howard County cit­i­zens through a mobile food mar­ket. Tes­ti­mo­ni­als within this doc­u­ment, as well as an infor­ma­tional video linked here, illus­trate how valu­able the pro­gram was to its patrons. The Rov­ing Radish 2014 Adden­dums – More infor­ma­tion on the Rov­ing Radish.

Rov­ing Radish com­pleted it’s sec­ond sea­son in Nov­men­ber, 2015. The pro­gram has been a great suc­cess. For more infor­ma­tion please visit the Rov­ing Radish web­site.

Howard County Regional Food Hub Study — A fea­si­bil­ity study to inves­ti­gate the pos­si­bil­ity of cre­at­ing a regional food hub and kitchen incu­ba­tor. Food hubs help pro­mote local con­sump­tion of region­ally sourced, sus­tain­ably grown food. Kitchen incu­ba­tors can pro­vide food entre­pre­neurs with tem­po­rary, low-cost, access to licensed kitchens and pro­fes­sional equip­ment where they can work through devel­op­ing their busi­nesses with­out risk­ing too much in invest­ment. Entre­pre­neurs can col­lab­o­rate and share ideas while they nav­i­gate through health reg­u­la­tions and other offi­cial processes.

Mem­bers of the Howard County Food Pol­icy Task Force were:

Jamie Brown

Owner, TLV Tree Farm and Mem­ber, Farm­ers Mar­ket Board
Jack Kavanagh
Direc­tor, Howard County Deten­tion Center
Karen But­ler
Direc­tor, Howard County Depart­ment of Social Services
Geor­gia Eacker
Direc­tor, Mas­ter Gar­den­ers Pro­gram, Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Extension
Gin­ger Myers
Direc­tor, Mary­land Rural Enter­prise Devel­op­ment Center
Jason Caul­der
Owner, Breezy Wil­low Farm CSA
Anne Palmer
Pro­gram Direc­tor, Johns Hop­kins Cen­ter for a Liv­able Future
Don­ald J. Darnall
Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Mary­land Food Authority
Christo­pher Skaggs
Direc­tor, North­east Mary­land Waste Dis­posal Authority
Bita Day­hoff
Pres­i­dent, Howard County Com­mu­nity Action Council
Larry Twele
CEO, Howard County Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Authority
Olivia Far­row
Direc­tor, Office of Human Ser­vices, Office of the Mayor, Bal­ti­more City
Frank Vitale
Pres­i­dent and CEO, Mary­land Uni­ver­sity of Inte­gra­tive Health
Philip Gottwals
Co-Founder, Friends and Farms CSA
Daniel Wecker
Owner and Exec­u­tive Chef, Elkridge Fur­nace Inn
Kate Het­her­ing­ton
Pres­i­dent, Howard Com­mu­nity College
Wendy Web­ster
Store Man­ager, Weg­mans in Columbia
Cathy Hud­son
Vice Chair, Howard County Envi­ron­men­tal Sus­tain­abil­ity Board
Michael J. Wilson
Direc­tor, Mary­land Hunger Solutions
Ann Jones
Direc­tor, Part­ners for Open Space
Ex-officio Mem­bers
Eliz­a­beth Edsall Kromm,
Direc­tor of Pol­icy and Leg­isla­tive Affairs, Office of the County Executive
Joshua Feld­mark
Direc­tor, Office of Envi­ron­men­tal Sustainability
Nikki High­smith Vernick
Pres­i­dent and CEO, The Hori­zon Foundation

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