June 2017

Introducing Washington's Food Bill

We have been very busy here at Food Action over the last few months. We moved into our new office in the Impact Hub, held a pre-launch celebration for a small group of funders with keynote speakers Nikki Silvestri and Brady Walkinshaw, officially launched our new name, logo, and website, and began our membership drive. Phew. Now we are on to our latest and most exciting project: building our campaign platform. And we’re starting big. Really big. We are putting together the nation’s first ever state-focused Food Bill for Washington.

The Washington Food Bill is a statewide systems approach to creating a better food system for all. The name is a play on words from the Farm Bill (national legislation passed every four years that covers a wide range of food and farming regulations and subsidies, including commodities, conservation, trade, nutrition, energy and more), and is a response to Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, Ricardo Salvador, and Olivier De Schutter’s call to action for a national food policy. We’re currently calling it the Washington Food Bill to emphasize the food focus (we know that farming is part of food), and for the wide web that we need to cast to create a food system that is better for everyone. 

The Washington Food Bill is not intended to include only legislative action, rather it is meant to be an omnibus and solution-oriented platform for systemic statewide action. Our goal for this Food Bill is to solidify key strategies for change that represent our core values of “good food,” food that promotes the health of our local Economy, People, and our Environment. To draft the Food Bill we are building on the five years of work of the Washington State Food Systems Roundtable, a group of leaders from all aspects of the food system from across the state who have compiled a Prospectus of 219 action items for state-level food system change. More information about the Food Systems Roundtable can be found here. The Roundtable’s Prospectus forms the foundational tool for our creation of the Washington Food Bill. Through a rigorous vetting process we have narrowed the 219 down to ten action items for this (first) iteration of the Washington Food Bill and are undergoing an engagement and review process with the goal of completing the final Washington State Food Bill by the end of July 2017.

As a Food Action member we welcome your opinion on what this Washington Food Bill should entail! Visit https://foodactionfeedback.consider.it/ to give us your feedback. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this exciting process.