Recently, the John Hopkins’ Center for a Livable Future released a webinar with a how-to guide for local/state food policy councils to engage with policy at the federal level and just why it matters. This resource has been made available by the Food Policy Networks Project.
Food policy is an integral piece when considering ways to increase access to healthy food either at the local or state levels, and having ways to influence federal decision-makers is an important skill to develop! Key takeaways taken directly from the guide are here:
- Federal policymakers and agencies welcome feedback (communicated via appropriate channels) on issues impacted by legislation and rules.
- Resources exist to help you learn about and track important pending legislation and rules to inform the drafting and timing of your communications.
- FPCs can play a significant role in educating the public on the relevance and impacts of federal policies and programs.
- National advocacy groups can be helpful resources for staying informed about proposed federal legislation and regulations.
- Federal agencies and legislative mandates support grants that may fund FPC work.
- Members of the media are looking for interesting local stories and can be allies.
- Building relationships with staff members for both Congressional representatives as well as agency employees is critical for successful communication, collaboration, and implementation of federal policymaking.
Strategies that FPCs can use to interact with federal government are included in the provided document that accompanies the webinar. These six strategies are:
- Contact Congress Members and Federal Officials about Legislation,
- Comment on Proposed Federal Regulations,
- Public Education,
- Work with National Advocacy Groups,
- Federal Funding Opportunities, and
- Role of State/Regional Agencies in Federal Policies and Programs
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