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Food Policy Council (FPC) Meeting on Mon, March 20, 2017 - 6:30 PM

Meeting Agenda: 

6pm pre-meeting presentation: Jancita Warrington, Director of the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum, will share information about a Community Feed that we will be hosting in October in coordination with a much larger 90th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Haskell Arch and Stadium Commemoration.

 

  1. Administrative Items
    1. Determine quorum of members, agenda approval
    2. Approval of February meeting minutes
    3. 2017 membership updates
    4. Budget overview and approvals
  2. Douglas County Food System Plan Update
    1. Commissioner input
    2. Retreat timing post-adoption
    3. Implementation framework
  3. State Policy Update
  4. Subcommittee Reports
    1. City (Aundrea Shafer)
    2. County (Jen Humphrey)
    3. Community (Kim Criner)
  5. FPC Member Updates
    1. MPO releases Transit Survey! City of Lawrence releases parking survey!
  6. Public Input
  7. Adjourn

For questions and more information about the Douglas County Food Policy Council, contact Helen Schnoes.

Meeting Location: 
Haskell University, Ross Hall, Room 140
Street Address: 
155 E Indian Ave, Lawrence, KS 66046, USA
Meeting Minutes: 

6pm pre-meeting presentation: Jancita Warrington, Director of the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum, will share information about a Community Feed that we will be hosting in October in coordination with a much larger 90th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Haskell Arch and Stadium Commemoration. Contact: jwarrington@haskell.edu; 785-832-6686 (w); 785-218-6463 (c).

 

All meetings and events at Haskell are open to the public! Great space to hold a meeting, too. There are 127 Tribal colleges, but most are generally community-based and serve one cultural group. It is very rare to have a university like Haskell that brings in many different traditions—it’s a unique form of culture at Haskell. The Cultural Center & Museum has Haskell’s historical records, but does not get federal funding.

 

Ms. Warrington shared the history of Haskell Indian Nations University, including connections to loss of Native communal lands, engagement in agriculture, and the story of events leading up to, and including, the community celebration in October 1926 for the new football stadium and memorial arch on campus.

 

To really dig into the story of this important historical moment—the largest event/celebration in Lawrence history!—all are encouraged to visit the Cultural Center, where half of the museum’s displays help tell this story.

 

A key component of the community celebration was on Saturday, October 30, 1926, for a Community Buffalo Feed at 10am. The food was seen as a gift to share with community. Give the cultural taboo to not have enough, the Chamber donated 13 additional beeves beyond 4 buffalo the event organizers had. By daybreak, hundreds were in line in anticipation of this community meal that fed thousands.  

 

For the 90th anniversary, Ms. Warrington and Haskell are organizing a memorial celebration. They want to use this new event to share culture and talk about folks coming together. The celebration will include a community feed to bring people together. There will also educational and cultural workshops, a pow-wow.

 

Ms. Warrington shared with the Council that she needs to find individuals to sit on a community feed committee, to help reach out and establish restaurants, food service experts in town to provide in-kind service and help plan the meal—it’s a lot of put on for a few individuals!

 

Specific needs include:

  • Cooks
  • Storage of tribal foods – can’t use Curtis Hall on campus
  • Assistance with food menu and quality of food product required (Volume to plan for)

 

Ms. Warrington also asked if farmer groups who could help by planting more crops now for the event, and then folks can participate in harvest. She’s open to focusing workshops on local food, food production, finding ways to bring communities together.

In attendance: Elizabeth Burger, Lee Broyles, Jen Humphrey, Aundrea Shafer, Pattie Johnston, Ashley Jones-Wisner, Marlin Bates, William Vesecky, Christine Ebert, Jill Elmers, Josh Falleaf, Inti Hurt,

Absent: Michael Showalter, Kim Criner, John Pendleton, Jan Hornberger, Jennifer Kongs, Scott Thellman, Brent Smith, Larry McElwain, TK Peterson, Michael Steinle

 

Staff: Helen Schnoes

 

  1. Administrative Items
    1. Determine quorum of members, agenda approval
    2. Approval of February meeting minutes (Elmers, Jones-Wisner—all approved)
    3. 2017 membership updates
      1. Youth representative spot open
        1. Marlin recapped who had expressed their interest in February
        2. Motion: offer position to Connie Fitzpatrick, (Elmers, Burger—all approved)
    4. Budget overview and approvals
      1. More copies of urban ag booklet? They’re in high demand! Only about 200 left, with much distribution left to do to area garden/hardware stores.
  • From Printing Solutions: 250 $591.00 | 500 $649.00 | 1000 $757.00
  • Motion: Go for $1000 from DCFPC budget (Falleaf, Hurt—all approved)
    1. Marlin drew attention to standing statewide funding opportunity for food councils, to support education/communications for recently enacted policy changes. The group discussed using this now. Helen encouraged holding off until there was clear direction from the food system plan priorities. Members are welcome to learn more about this opportunity and bring forward ideas.  
  • Added item: Subcommittee assignments. Marlin reminded the group that each member has a responsibility to serve on a subcommittee, where the bulk of council work unfolds. Helen will reach out to members who don’t attend subcommittees so they can get connected.
  • Added item: Listing of member contact information on City of Lawrence webpage.
    1. Helen shared that the City of Lawrence, who appoints half of the DCFPC members, has a practice of listing advisory board member contact information. She asked if the group was comfortable with this for all, some, or no members. The consensus was reached that listing meetings and staff contact information offers a good level of transparency and direct contact for members was not necessary. 
    2. Given the topic, the group asked staff to return with an updated member contact list to share at the next meeting.

 

 

 

 

  1. Douglas County Food System Plan Update
    1. City of Lawrence Commissioner input from March 14 presentation
      1. The group discussed the primary topics that City Commissioners referenced in response to an introductory presentation about the Food System Plan. The conversation included:
        1. Tom Holland, Douglas County State Senator, has introduced a constitutional amendment to initiate a statewide vote of the people to lower sales tax on food. To become a ballot provision, it requires 2/3 of Senate and House to support the resolution, which over 2018-2020 would drop state sales tax (currently 6.5%) to 2%. The bill hasn’t passed out of committee yet. Two legislators from Johnson County have asked about the local component of the sales tax (which adds up to 4-5%). However, it was acknowledged that local municipalities are so squeezed in recent budgets that removing their sales tax on groceries would be a difficult ask of limited resources.
        2. Commissioner Boley was interested in seeing how much sales tax Lawrence collects from low income residents, and what services/programs the City then supports to help families have enough food. In general, this clearer understanding of the data and sales tax story can be a tool to evaluate future efforts/actions.
        3. It was referenced that no one is advocating for people in poverty at the capital (or empowering and engaging people in poverty to be self-advocates). There’s a need to put a face on burdens, beyond facts and figures, to share the stories that can resonate. Members wondered if the DCFPC would help with that sort of effort locally or in other counties with Councils.
      2. Farmers market location question: Commissioner Larsen asked that DCFPC keep this topic on the front burner.
      3. Membership brought up how implementation of the food system plan and future initiatives can look to be more empowering and giving voice not only locally but at the state to those whose stories often aren’t shared at the Capital.
    2. Retreat timing post-adoption
      1. The goal is to have the final Food System Plan adopted by the City and County Commissioners in May/June. The DCFPC membership and key community partners will then need to determine what their priority areas are to create the forthcoming workplan for the Council and community.
      2. The group came to consensus that it would be good to have the retreat sooner rather than later following adoption. They also agreed that keeping with the third Monday evening timing would be good. Farmers agreed they could plan for this one occasion, but then regular progress check-ins/work planning for the Council should occur in the wintertime.
    3. Implementation framework
      1. Helen is working on a higher-level framework to guide these next steps, but a focused retreat session will be the primary format for really setting the stage for what’s next.
      2. This will be a discussion in the next subcommittee meetings and future DCFPC meetings.

 

 

  1. State Policy Update (Ashley Jones-Wisner | ajwisner@kchealthykids.org)
    1. Ashley presented about a number of legislative pieces proposed this session that seek to lower the sales tax on food (groceries). No significant progress given overall challenges in Kansas surrounding tax code structure and revenue gaps. There has also been a Constitutional Amendment on lowering sales tax on food (see above, with Tom Holland).
    2. Senate Bill 95: This bill seeks to allow Kansas residents interested in applying for needed federal assistance programs administered by the state to use a “voice signature,” since this can be a challenge for rural residents. Several years ago, the Hope ACT passed and  put new provisions on how folks access these programs. Enrollment is going down, but it’s largely because it’s harder to enroll. This bill has been brought forth to help undue some of those additional burdens. Currently, a great burden is placed on food pantries/banks who help residents with enrollment, but the focus of these groups isn’t to support federal program enrollment. This bill is going before the House on March 21. Kansas accepted voice signatures in the past—doesn’t have to be a legislative act to allow. Opposing legislators have concerns with fraud.
    3. Past legislation about school procurement centralization, including food purchasing, is not going anywhere.

 

  1. Subcommittee Reports
    1. City (Aundrea Shafer)
      1. New Common Ground website application launched!
      2. Approached by Adam Weigel, who manages the Penn St. Common Ground garden. He is spearheading a pilot this year at 11th and Haskell to establish a bus stop garden. He’s talking with Transit, City of Lawrence Public Works, K-State Research & Extension, and City Subcommittee to plan and implement. The gardeners at Penn St. Community Garden will help with maintenance. Water will be a key consideration.  
    2. County (Jen Humphrey)
      1. The group had a good discussion, following-up on some items from food system plan tasked to them to discuss at the February meeting.
    3. Community (Kim Criner)
      1. The group discussed goals 3 and 4 of food system plan, responding to the discussion at the February meeting.
      2. Working to determine best timing, focus of research summit with KU Food Studies working group. Discussion still of May, but possible delay until fall so plan is adopted, retreat occurs. Marlin reminded that the Governor’s Agriculture Summit was good last year, will happen again, may be good to tap into to build, capture momentum. It will be August 24th.
      3. Group is still overseeing the update of the CSA Toolkit, to help employers offer Community Supported Agriculture shares to their employees. A KU student who worked on the project in the fall has moved on; Kim is overseeing final edits to bring to the group.

 

  1. FPC Member Updates
    1. Pattie reported the seed library is going well at the Lawrence Public Library!
    2. Josh reported that he went to the Indigenous farming conference in MN. He has stories he’s happy to share.
    3. Marlin hired a new Horticulture Agent for K-State Research & Extension, local farmer and former DCFPC member Tom Buller. Kansas Rural Center is looking to re-hire a position Tom held about season extension techniques, with production budgets. Marlin previously sent this out to the DCFPC listserv on March 20.
    4. Marlin pointed out an article in Lawrence Business Magazine about farming, which featured DCFPC member John Pendleton!
    5. Helen shared information about two currently open public surveys: MPO releases Transit Survey! City of Lawrence releases parking survey!

 

  1. Public Input

 

  1. Adjourn