Collier County, Florida

Florida map showing Collier County, Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council Population: 373,000
Project focus: Access to foods that support healthy eating patterns

View the project snapshot (PDF)

Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, in partnership with Blue Zones Project, Drug Free Collier County, Collier Department of Health, Florida Gulf Coast University Department of Social Work, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will engage community partners and residents to establish a food policy council to improve public health and prevent chronic disease through nutritionally sound practices that are supported through improved policy.

The council will be working to encourage advocacy from community members, all the way from farmers to health service workers to the general public and provide them with the opportunity to educate one another sustainable food options in the area. Over time, the council plans to broaden their reach throughout southwest Florida. The council will also be led by a Food Policy Coordinator who will individually accelerate the timeline for addressing these issues as a community. Their objective is to expand their current infrastructure and to change policies to better reach and serve rural communities in the county and prepare for future disasters/emergencies. This project highlights the vital role that community members can play in addressing local food and health related concerns for Southwest Florida residents. We are so happy to see the diverse involvement of this project!

Goals:

  • Build engagement, support, and credibility of the Food Policy Council as an effective deliberative body
  • Develop a portfolio of policy and systems changes that ensure areas with high levels of health disparities have reliable access to affordable healthy food in their community
  • Strengthen communication and partnership across sectors to ensure a resilient food supply and reliable access to healthy, affordable food for everyone
  • Build a resilient supply chain for local growers of all scales to meet the needs of the hunger relief sector, community anchor institutions (schools, universities, etc.) and food retail providers