Since its inception in 2000, the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission [SMADC] has been creating and administering programs designed to support sustainable farming, to enhance the connections between farms, food and good nutrition, to advocate for policy changes urgently needed by the area’s farmers, and more. In recent years, as SMADC became involved with increasing access and availability of fresh farm foods to all members of the community while ensuring economic sustainability of the area’s farmers, it became apparent that a regional network would be instrumental in dealing with food issues broader than the SMADC’s mandate.
SMADC agreed to contribute initial funding and resources toward the creation and incubation of a Food Policy Council that could take on many food issues not fully within SMADC’s direct goals and mission, and in 2011, the first meeting of what would become the Southern Maryland Food Council was convened. That meeting brought together various groups and individuals dealing with the issues of hunger, food sustainability, policy, etc. throughout the southern Maryland region.
In the ensuing eighteen months, this dedicated work group drafted the goals and mission of the Food Council, evaluated potential projects and set up an interim Board which would go on to finalize the Council’s operating procedures, determine how the Council would be structured and recruit qualified participants to become the Council.
As of spring 2013, the interim Board is in the final stages of recruiting permanent Food Council members and evaluating/launching the initial Food Council projects.