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the tompkins county food policy council


Following in the footsteps of hundreds of communities across the U.S. and around the world, the Food Policy Council (FPC) of Tompkins County came together in 2016 to identify opportunities for strengthening the local food system. The FPC is a volunteer citizen group advocating for a healthier local food system. In 2020, the FPC launched the development of the community food system planning process. The Tompkins County Food System Plan: A Roadmap for our Future, accepted unanimously by the Tompkins County Legislature on July 19th, 2022, is a voluntary framework for collaboration intended to support implementation of the plan recommendations. The FPC advises, educates and supports local governments, institutions, organizations, businesses and individuals in their efforts to create a food system that is more locally- and regionally-based, and  more resilient, equitable, and healthy for all residents. 

current food policy council members

Don Barber, Chair

Max Buckner

Sarah DeFrank

Dan Hoffman

Tara Judkins

Grace Parker Zielinski

Sean McKean

Monika Roth

Baz Perry

Regi Teasley

Meghan Witherow

Randy Brown, Tompkins County Legislature Liaison


Special thanks to all the past members of the Food Policy Council whose vision, service and time over the past several years helped lay the groundwork for a stronger local food system.

the vision of the tompkins county food policy council is to create a food system that:

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Sustains people on the front line of our food system: producers, entrepreneurs, and food sector workers and volunteers

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Ensures equity across the food system including: access to nutritious food, access to land and resources for growing food, access to opportunities within the food system

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Sustains and improves the foundations of our food system: soil, land, water, climate

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Reduces food waste

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Ensures access to nutritious, healthy, affordable food that supports human health

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Provides education on food, nutrition, cooking/preserving, and growing


The Food System Planning Team consists of Food Policy Council Members and volunteer stakeholders and collaborators committed to completing and distributing a comprehensive food system plan by mid-2022. The FSPT is a collaborative team which shares individual experiences, listens, and learns from each other’s ideas and invites engagement of community members to collectively address food system challenges. Members of the team represent organizations and interests across the food system including farming and growing, food security, food waste, health and equity, education, and beyond.

This work is made possible by our generous supporters within the community. The Food Policy Council thanks the Tompkins County Legislature and the Tompkins County Recycling and Materials Management department for their funding, as well as Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County for its organizational support.  

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program
and employment opportunities.

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