The action and its aims
The Baltimore Food Policy Initiative (BFPI) is an inter-departmental collaboration within Baltimore City Council that exists to create comprehensive strategies to increase access to healthy, affordable food, and to implement programmes and policies.
Why it was needed
The rationale behind it is that food is such a complex, multifaceted issue that it does not fit squarely within the remit of any one department. This means that departments need to work together to ensure a coordinated approach.
Who initiated it, who is involved
The BFPI began in 2010, following publication of the Baltimore Food Policy Task Force final report that shone a spotlight on food access in the city. It is led by the Food Policy Director and has a staff of five, distributed across the partner departments/offices. The departments involved are the Department of Planning, the Office of Sustainability, Baltimore City Health Department, and Baltimore Development Corporation. Other departments contribute on an ad hoc basis.
Outcome/how it strengthened coordination
The partner departments have each led on work to address food access through their own lens or drawing on their expertise. For example, the Department of Planning has incorporated food into various plans and policies; the Baltimore City Health Department leads on community-based food access programming in an effort for all residents to be able to realise their health potential.