All Iowa Talks About Food Focus Groups and Input Sessions
A series of focus groups and input sessions are taking place in Johnson County and across the state to gather input from Iowan’s on strengths, challenges, and opportunities for our state’s food system. Input will be used to inform an inclusive statewide vision and plan to coordinate, invest in, and develop local/regional food supply chains. The Iowa Food System Coalition is leading this planning, and several local organizations, including the Johnson County Food Policy Council, are supporting their work by hosting these focus groups.
Mon. Jan 24 - 6:00-8:00pm- Focus Group with Food Policy Council
Fri. Jan 28 - 1:00-2:30pm- Focus Group with Eastern Iowa Young Farmers Coalition
Tues. Feb 15 - 6:00-8:00pm- Focus Group with Food Policy Council Infrastructure Working Group. Register here.
Fri. Feb. 18 - 2:00-3:00pm - Focus Group with Table to Table
TBD - State-wide Input Sessions
If you are interested in attending an event, please contact [email protected]
Local Foods Roundtable: Transforming the Food System Through Storytelling
This event has been postponed due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in our community. The Food Policy Council is working to reschedule this event for later this spring with the hope that cases will be more under control. Stay tuned for updates.
This event will be a space to share stories and connect. Attendees will engage in small group discussions about how stories impact people’s understanding of food and agriculture issues. We will also discuss how uplifting marginalized stories about the food system can create new narratives and inspire change. The event will conclude with a public input session and time to chat.
Johnson County's Local Food System
Johnson County is a unique region in Iowa where the rural landscape meets our urban centers in many dynamic ways. We are a brilliant mix of talent, experience, and culture. The Johnson County Board of Supervisors and staff are committed to building a thriving local food system -- where the environment flourishes, businesses succeed, and everyone has access to diverse and culturally relevant food.
- What is the food system?
The food system is defined as the chain of activities connecting food production, processing, distribution, marketing, transportation, access, consumption and waste management.
- Local foods in Johnson County
In the fall of 2015, the Johnson County Board of Supervisors created a new position - the Local Foods and Planning Specialist - as part of the Planning, Development and Sustainability department. In 2018, the Local Foods Coordinator position was moved to the Board of Supervisors Office. The Local Foods Coordinator works closely with the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, county planners and community partners to increase local food production and access in Johnson County.
By creating this position, Johnson County is acknowledging the importance local foods have in our county, and that by developing a community-based food system, we are supporting all sectors of our environment - from public health to conservation..
- Why local foods and the County?
The food system has significant, daily impacts on the residents of Johnson County in terms of the environment, the local economy, employment, the transportation system, public health and waste. Everyone eats, therefore everyone is engaged in the food system.
In Johnson County, we see the need to build the community resources of our food system - and we are working to create a robust system that promotes worker's rights and builds resilience in the natural environment. The advancement of our local food system will enhance rural and urban economic development, increase access to nutritious food and build equity in our community.
Find Local Food
Got Veggies? Learn about Community Supported Agriculture
There are several Community Supported Agriculture farms in our area that residents can join. Johnson County Local Foods, Public Health, Field to Family, and local farmers hosted a webinar to share information about CSA and the benefits of becoming a member at a local farm.
Field to Family Local Food and Farm Guide
Field to Family created this resource to make it easier for consumers to find and shop for local food in our region. Visit their virtual guide to explore farms, restaurants, and stores that offer local food!