Ozarks Regional Food Policy Council Assessment Technical Consultation

Dates: 2014

State: Missouri

Client(s): Ozarks Regional YMCA

Service: Applied Research & Evaluation

Technical Expertise: Healthy Communities, Population Health

In December 2012, CoxHealth, working in cooperation with the Healthy Living Alliance housed out of the Ozarks Regional YMCA in Springfield, received a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health entitled A Project for a Healthy Region. The impetus behind the grant was rising concern about childhood obesity rates in the region, and their relationship to food insecurity. The intent of the project was to confront the issue of childhood obesity from a food systems and food policy standpoint.

There were three objectives for the project:

1) Create a steering committee to determine the membership and operating framework of a regional food policy council

2) Establish the Ozarks Regional Food Policy Council (ORFPC), whose mission would be to promote the development of a sustainable local food system that provides healthy food to all individuals in Southwest Missouri, and

3) Conduct a regional food system assessment to inform the public and policymakers, and provide a roadmap for developing a local food economy, improving our health and strengthening our communities.

JSI was hired as a technical expert to guide and design a report that presents findings from the regional food system assessment, the kickoff effort of the ORFPC.