The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) is an interdisciplinary academic center based at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Founded in 1996, the CLF conducts original research, communicates scientific findings and translates their application, educates students, and provides technical assistance in support of public health advocacy and policy initiatives to improve our food system. The CLF's mission is to promote research and to develop and communicate information about the complex interrelationships among diet, food production, environment, and human health.
Leveraging the Center’s experience, strengths, and institutional resources, as well as the expertise of leading food policy advocate Mark Winne, the Food Policy Networks (FPN) project builds the capacity of local, state, regional, and tribal food policy organizations. CLF also partners with the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, with support from the Town Creek Foundation.
Collaboration amongst various sectors – community, government, nonprofit, and private - has emerged as a long-term strategy to create systemic and meaningful improvements in the food system. Countless food and farm groups have formed over the past several years, including close to 280 food policy councils in North America. Changes in public food procurement procedures, revisions in urban gardening and farming codes, and better access to healthier food are just some of the categories of food system change that have resulted from this increased emphasis on local and state food policy. The USDA, CDC, and several foundations have made strategic investments to build partnerships that encourage productive policy changes.
The Food Policy Networks project established the Advisory Committee to expand and deepen its ability to better serve the growing movement of food policy councils and other local and state efforts to address food policy. Currently comprising eight people who are drawn from academia, operating food policy councils, and public policy circles, the committee meets with project staff on a bi-monthly basis to critique project work, share resources and information from their perspectives, and offer general advice on the direction of the project. To date, the Advisory Committee has provided valuable insights that have influenced the direction of the project's training, the selection and compilation of resources, and opportunities for engagement with other regional and national groups.