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Mayor Bowser Appoints Spike Mendelsohn to Chair District’s Food Policy Council

Thursday, February 26, 2015

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser announced the appointment of DC based restaurateur and chef Spike Mendelsohn to chair the District’s newly created Food Policy Council (FPC).

“Spike’s leadership will be a tremendous asset to the DC Food Policy Council,” said Mayor Bowser. “The District’s food landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade. Policy makers, non-profit service providers and other sectors of the food system should be equal partners in our efforts to create a nourished DC. I look forward to Spike’s leadership and expertise as we work collectively to transform our food system.”

As Chair of the Food Policy Council, Spike Mendelsohn will spearhead efforts to promote the food economy and entrepreneurship, improve food access and equity in all 8 wards, and promote urban agriculture and production.

“My professional career revolves around food and healthy food choices in the home and in my restaurants,” said Chef Mendelsohn. “Food choice and preparation starts at home. Families decide what’s on the menu at home based upon what is offered in the supermarkets, quality of food offerings and more importantly, costs.  If more families were educated on the impact of  food choice, I think that we could reduce obesity and other food-related illnesses. My goal is to increase food education and access to quality food which are the key to  healthy food choices.”

The Food Policy Council and Director Establishment Act of 2014 enabled the creation of the Food Policy Council. This legislation will go into effect on March 10, 2015. The FPC is tasked with promoting the food economy and entrepreneurship, improving food access and equity in all 8 wards, and promoting urban agriculture and production. The Food Policy Council will create an annual report on the state of the local food economy, regulatory and policy barriers, best practices on food access, and funding priorities. The FPC is composed of 13 representatives from the nonprofit and for-profit worlds involved in the local food economy or food access as well as 10 government agency non-voting members. The FPC will set 4 working groups focused on local food business and labor development; food equity, access, and health and nutrition education; sustainable food procurement of locally grown food; and urban agriculture and food system education.