Building on its history to improve the availability of fresh, healthy foods in New Orleans, the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) was recently awarded funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to support the work of the New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee to increase healthy eating opportunities for children and families.
"FPAC is grateful for the opportunity to continue our work to guide New Orleans toward a healthier, more sustainable food system," said Elisa Munoz, FPAC co-chair who also has 12 years of experience working in sustainable food systems. "We hope to work broadly with many people in the community to create long-lasting improvements in food access for all families."
The grant will allow FPAC to assess the local food policy landscape, develop a 5-year strategic plan, and provide education around evidence-based, equitable and sustainable food policy. The funding, totaling $85,000, will help FPAC identify and address the policy barriers that exist in the food system and craft a plan to build a stronger New Orleans food system through research, engagement, and education.
"It’s important to strengthen the food system in New Orleans because, despite the increase in the total number of grocery stores and other improvements since Hurricane Katrina, many neighborhoods and families still lack easy access to affordable healthy food," said Dr. Carolyn Johnson, Director of the Tulane PRC and Professor in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
The New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee (FPAC) is a broad-based committee of area leaders working to improve access to fresh healthy food. The FPAC was originally authorized by a May 2007 resolution of the New Orleans City Council and has been working since on a variety of successful initiatives including a set of recommendations that led to the creation of the Food Fresh Food Retailer Initiative in 2011. This city-wide $14 million loan program is administered by the City of New Orleans, Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE) and The Food Trust. The FPAC has also published two reports with specific policy recommendations on Food Retail Access and School Food and Nutrition and has since worked to help other parts of Louisiana establish food policy groups and organized the first annual Louisiana Food Access Summit in 2012.
The FPAC reconvened in 2015 and currently has a diverse membership of over 20 organizations and individuals who are revisiting a set of policy priorities identified with input from the community through a series of meetings and community forums. The FPAC is a part of the City of New Orleans' Fit NOLA Healthy Community Design sector.
For more information on FPAC and to get involved, contact co-chair Elisa Munoz at firstname.lastname@example.org. or 504-383-3364. Learn more about FPAC's history by visiting nolafoodpolicy.org or prc.tulane.edu- and the FPAC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NewOrleansFoodPolicyAdvisoryCommittee
By Elisa Munoz, FPAC co-chair, and Naomi King Englar, Tulane PRC Staff June 2017
(Photos courtesy of FPAC: Members and partners of FPAC attended the 2015 Community Input Session, which focused on creating a framework to guide the committee’s priorities.)