Food in Neighborhoods Transitions to Become Independent Community Coalition

The Food in Neighborhoods Committee has changed names in the past but has until now been resourced by and related to the local government. In the past several years, different government offices, especially the Health Department over the last few years, have helped convene, facilitate and take notes for the meetings, while general direction and agendas were determined by a Steering Committee made up of volunteers from the community. Beginning this year, the Health Dept has taken a more active role in FIN, including changing its name – without discussion by the group – to the Healthy Eating Committee and initiating a data needs assessment and strategic planning process to align the committee with the three other committees and goals of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement.

After much discussion during the March and April monthly meetings (which proved challenging and confusing especially to new participants. Apologies to all for whom that was true) and further discussion by the FIN Steering Committee, we have decided to divide into two distinct groups to continue our work. One will continue as Food in Neighborhoods, albeit as an independent, community-based coalition, and the other will be the Healthy Eating Committee of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement.

The Food in Neighborhoods Community Coalition is a broad coalition of individuals and representatives of groups working to build a more equitable, healthy and sustainable food and farm system in and around Louisville.  A commitment to the above goal and shared values of inclusiveness, anti-oppression, fairness and equity are the magnetic core of the coalition. Government employees in related departments will be invited to participate in the coalition in their role as public officials in service to the city.

FIN is committed to creating a space where all have a voice in shaping a just and resilient food system, with special emphasis on perspectives, expressed needs and solutions emerging from the neighborhoods most directly and negatively affected by the dominant food regime.

The FIN Community Coalition meets monthly to:

  • ensure that people are aware of current initiatives so they can plug in, support, learn from and avoid duplication
  •  develop new or select existing initiatives and policies that the coalition determines will bring Louisville closer to the above goals
  • dialogue about ways to effectively support and coordinate around those initiatives
  • determine specific actions on which individuals and groups can collaborate

Thematic work teams will have ample time to meet together during FIN meetings and teams may choose to meet more regularly. Beginning in November, three Action Teams were formed: Food & Farm Policy, Food Access, and Outreach & Diversity, with the idea that new teams could be added or these could be modified depending on the needs/desires of the coalition. We will revisit what Teams are needed during the first meeting.

The Food in Neighborhoods Community Coalition will meet on Wednesday, June 19 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (location to be announced after a 5/29 planning meeting). Please contact Erin Bridges or Heather Hyden for more information and to get on the Community Coalition mailing list, especially if you can’t make the June 19 meeting. They will decide on regular meeting times on 6/19, so let them know what days of the week work best for you.

The Healthy Eating Committee will remain as one of 4 components of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement, charged by the Louisville Metro Department of Health and Wellness to help create a culture of health and wellness in our community. The Healthy Eating committee will focus on making healthy eating the easy choice for Louisville metro residents of all ages and socioeconomic group, for every meal, in every part of their day. They plan to develop a 5-year strategic plan based on the food needs of our community, addressing policies, programs and practices. The co-chairs will convene monthly with co-chairs of the 3 other MHHM committees: Tobacco prevention and control, Active Living and Chronic Disease Prevention and Management to coordinate improvements of our city’s health and wellbeing. Contact Marigny Bostock for more information.

There is strong energy in both groups to improve food access in our city and there will be communication and coordination between the two groups.

We encourage you to come to either or both gatherings as you are able and to encourage friends, families, co-workers and neighbors to come shape a Louisville food and farm system that works for everyone!


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