Metro councilwoman proposes Food Policy Council

Monday, December 6, 2010 at 10:05pm

Nashville could soon have a new council to help advise the city’s elected officials on better food and nutrition policies.

An ordinance sponsored by Metro Councilwoman Erica Gilmore would establish an 11-member Food Policy Council consisting of “farmers, nutritionists, educators, anti-hunger advocates and representatives of the food industry.” The mayor and directors of Metro Nashville Public Schools, the Nashville Farmers’ Market and the Metro Health Department would make the appointments.  

The council, which would be required to confirm the appointments, is set to consider the bill on first reading Tuesday.

Gilmore, who represents parts of North Nashville and downtown, said one of the issues Nashville faces is the reality of “food deserts,” neighborhoods that lack immediate access to groceries or other places to purchase nutritional foods.

“People that do not have access to grocery stores [with nutritional offerings] do not live as long,” Gilmore said.

“Right now, it would take a little bit longer time to incentivize and bring grocery stores to the area, [but] we can sponsor legislation that would aid in that, where we would have a dedicated body to look at those issues,” she said.

Gilmore also cited Tennessee’s high obesity rate as reason to create the Food Policy Council, a body she hopes would explore initiatives carried out in other states and municipalities, and offer recommendations accordingly.   

In all, responsibilities of the council would include improving access to health food and promoting healthy living; promoting the concept of community gardens throughout Davidson County; improving the availability of fresh, local produce; and attracting grocery stores in underserved, low-income neighborhoods.

Earlier this year, Metro landed a $7.5 million federal stimulus grant to launch an obesity prevention program, along with other health initiatives.  

6 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 12/7/10 at 8:09

More nanny state politics at work. If a grocerier thinks there a
viable market in north Nashville(there's a Kroger there) they
will build one. It's certainly not the business of the City to tell
them to build there or else, nor to tell them what to stock on
their shelves. As written this shouldn't even pass 1st reading.

By: HokeyPokey on 12/7/10 at 8:57

A little understood secret is why the French aren't fat and Americans are.

GovSkeptic and his ilk won't want to know why that is, but the facts is the facts.


By: girliegirl on 12/7/10 at 9:37

Once again, it isn't McDonald's fault that you ate a MEGA sized hamburger for dinner. And even the folks w/healthy food options are "over eating" at home. You have solved nothing, and added to the national debt. Way to go.

By: girliegirl on 12/7/10 at 9:39

@Hokey....I noticed they don't eat "super sized pastries" like we do. They eat tiny proportions, in comparison. AND, my favorite gripe, they do NOT have "all you can eat" joints in that country.

By: xhexx on 12/7/10 at 9:50

Another idiot on the Council heard from. Why should Metro schools be appointing anyone? They're already a dismal failure in something they're supposed to know something about.

By: gdiafante on 12/7/10 at 11:02

That's right! Tennessee is fat and loving it. We don't need no stinkin' health food, we're fat, unintelligent pigs and we like it that way! Now give my my money!!