STRATEGIC ADVOCACY FOR FOOD COUNCILS
This online toolkit is meant to support food councils, community groups and individuals in the Carolinas in being strategic when engaging in advocacy efforts.
Policy and programmatic change does not happen overnight. It takes detailed research, community engagement, relationship development, and being strategic in your goals and your tactics for change.
Effective strategy is essential for successful advocacy. Advocacy that follows a well thought-out plan increases the likelihood of making positive, lasting impacts on your community. Meaningful relationships are critical to successful advocacy and often can help to identify champions willing to support your cause.
Four steps to effectively advocate for food system change. These steps include information and tools that provide a systematic approach to advocacy for any individual, food council, or community group who wants to affect positive food system change:
- Identify food system policy and planning issues,
- Prioritize which issues to work on,
- Network with decision makers and food system stakeholders, and
- Make and implement strategic advocacy plans.
Is your food council ready to engage in policy?
Typically, most food councils start to identify and prioritize advocacy actions after the group has worked through Seed and Start-Up phases to formally establish their group. Strategic networking with policy and decision makers, however, is particularly important to fledgling food councils to make new relationships, to identify champions, to find out about opportunities for collaboration and policy improvement, and to begin to learn the political landscape.
Ultimately, this four step process will assist in the overall development of your food council and will support your group and its members in becoming advocacy experts.
The “Strategic Networking” section includes a County Database that provides direct links to a variety of websites of local government departments, elected officials, and key stakeholders, and provides food system related information for every county in North and South Carolina.
We hope these tools support food councils, community groups and individuals in building meaningful relationships with policy champions, successfully advocating for policy change, and ultimately creating more productive food systems and healthier communities.
Apply for Direct Assistance
Community Food Strategies currently has support available to food councils and community groups to assist them in developing plans for strategic networking and food system advocacy.