Victoria Day – Monday, May 20. View holiday hours for City of Winnipeg facilities and services.

Victoria Day – Monday, May 20. View holiday hours for City of Winnipeg facilities and services.


What is a food policy council?

  • A food policy council is a group that works with the political process to shape the local food system by looking at it from many different perspectives. Members are usually involved in different parts of the food system (producers, processors, distributors, eaters, etc.), and work together to create a sustainable, accessible, and dynamic food system.
  • Food policy councils discuss food issues, coordinate between food system sectors, evaluate and influence policy, and support programs and services that address local needs. Different interests are brought together as the group discusses system issues, researches, and analyzes or proposes policy changes and / or programming related to the food system.

What does a food policy council do?

  • In general, food policy councils improve the local food system by advising policy makers, which includes research, oversight, advising and advocating for specific policies. They also gather information about the local food environment, build relationships with and between stakeholders, create an opportunity to study and discuss the food system as a whole, and develop strategies to better address community food security.

Do other cities have them?

  • There are currently over 200 food policy councils throughout Canada and the United States. Of that, at least 19 are embedded in government at the municipal level. In Canada, food policy councils from three cities – Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver –have been established by municipal government.

Why was it important for Winnipeg to have a Food Council?

  • Community groups have been requesting that the City establish a food policy council since 2008. Community input at the beginning of this project ensured Winnipeg’s potential food policy council was structured and governed in a way acceptable to both the community and the government.
  • With both community and political support, Winnipeg’s food policy council will be able to make more positive policy changes to help the production, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal of food in Winnipeg.
  • OurWinnipeg 2045, the City of Winnipeg's long range plan, recognizes that local food security is an important environmental good (OurWinnipeg 2045, Policy 2.22). The plan directs the City to enable sustainable urban agriculture and local food systems.
  • Other OurWinnipeg 2045 policy directions directly or indirectly connected with food policy involve pursuing affordable access to healthy food to support community health, poverty reduction and building community cohesion (OurWinnipeg 2045, policy 4.5).

Food issues also intersect with policy directions about complete communities (OurWinnipeg 2045, City Building Objective 3), ecosystems protection OurWinnipeg 2045, Environmental Resilience Objective 5). The City has also been active in supporting community gardening by creating a Community Garden Policy.

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