New policy council focused on improving food security in central, northern Michigan

Food bank
April 11, 2023 • Featured, News

Local organizations invited to collaborate

A new Food Policy Council will address food insecurities that exist across six central and northern Michigan counties. The council, funded by a Michigan Local Food Council Network grant, will serve Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Iosco, Ogemaw, and Roscommon Counties.

The goal in building out the food council is to have a diverse set of community stakeholders that will represent all sectors of the food system and a diverse representation of the community.

Tina Swanton, director of program development at the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance, said that she hopes the council will inspire more organizations in the community to work together and that any local organization can join.

“Collaboration and partnership are the keys to creating change while working toward a common goal,” Swanton said. “This can only be done when all partners are a part of the process to be the solution.”

“We are a very humble community, and many times the need is not evident because people are not willing to come out and ask for help,” said Jeannine Coughlin, an intervention specialist with Standish-Sterling Community Schools. “A multi-county collaboration regarding food insecurities in our communities will help establish a foundation for meeting the greater needs, as they come about.”

The council kickoff will take place from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday, April 28, at YMCA Camp Timbers, 3269 Horseshoe Lake Road in West Branch. Lunch will be provided. Those interested in attending and learning more about how they can be part of the food council can RSVP to Swanton at [email protected] by April 14.

Media contact: Heather Smith, [email protected]


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