Madison Food Policy Council
Interested in membership? Click on the Prospective Member Guide to learn more!
The Madison Food Policy Council meets on 3rd Wednesdays of the month at 5:30PM. All meetings are being held virtually. For any questions relating to the agenda, minutes, or other questions about the Council, please call the Mayor’s Office at (608) 266-4611 for more information.
The Madison Food Policy Council (MFPC) is the main public body that develops and recommends policies to the Mayor and Common Council to support our food system, and endorses efforts to do the same at the national level. The MFPC is comprised of 23 members that represent key areas of the local and regional food system, including representatives of the Madison Metropolitan School District, Dane County Food Council, producers, advocates, and elected officials. The MFPC leads collaboration efforts across many stakeholders and serves as a sounding board and voice for community concerns. The MFPC is currently chaired by Erica Anderson.
To drive policies, programs, and collaborative resources relative to support the development of a sustainable local and regional food system that supports equitable access to healthy, culturally appropriate food, nutrition education, and economic opportunity.
Established in October 2012 by former Mayor Paul Soglin and the Madison Common Council.
Role / Responsibilities
- Make recommendations to the Mayor and Common Council on ordinances, policies, and budgetary items that have an impact on the food system.
- Request city staff to develop policies related to the food system based on research, input, and advice from the community.
- Solicit input from experts and citizens within the food system and lead discussion on various topics in order to inform policy recommendations.
- Create subcommittees as necessary to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders and to provide further support on policy recommendations.
- Review recommendations from the Dane County Food Policy Council and the Public Market Development Committee.
- Create and endorse policies to be considered by national food policy organizations and policymakers, especially through the United States Conference of Mayors Food Policy Taskforce.
The MFPC conducts the bulk of its policy and program work within the structure of work groups. Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the MFPC and our County counterpart, the Dane County Food Council, created and adopted a unified COVID-19 Framework, which has launched joint work groups, streamlined our meeting procedures as a joint process, and created closer collaboration between the City and the County on community food systems issues during the pandemic and beyond.
Please find the adopted COVID-19 Framework and Project Sustainability Charter for MFPC projects below:
Healthy Retail Access Work Group (Ad Hoc)
There are many neighborhoods in Madison that are faced with a variety of food access challenges. The work group is responsible for developing strategies and priorities for the Mayor and Common Council that respond to the uniqueness of the issue in each neighborhood.In 2015, the group successfully established the Healthy Retail Access Program. Based on the recommendation of the Madison Food Policy Council, former Mayor Paul Soglin proposed creation of the fund in the 2015 Capital Budget, which was adopted by the Common Council. The program receives $150,000 annually to support healthy retail projects.
SEED Grants Work Group (Ad Hoc)
In 2013, the Madison Food Policy Council created the SEED Grant Program, which offers micro-grants to organizations advancing food access improvement projects or programs. Each year the group evaluates applications and makes recommendations on awardees.
Edible Landscapes and Terrace Plantings Work Group (Disbanded August 2017)
The edible landscape and terrace plantings work group was comprised of five members of the MFPC: former Alder Ledell Zellers (District 2), (current Mayor) Satya Rhodes-Conway, Martin Bailkey, Nathan Clarke, and Nan Fey. The group was created by the MFPC to get to work on new ordinances to allow edible landscapes on city-owned land and plantings on street terraces.In 2013, the Common Council adopted ordinances to do just that.