The mission of the Council is to bring together diverse stakeholders to integrate the aspects of the food system (production, distribution, access, consumption, processing and recycling) in order to sustain and enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of Southern Maryland.

The equitable and sustainable distribution of fresh, healthy food to Maryland communities, thereby enhancing the quality of life for all citizens.

(1)    Ensure access, availability and affordability of fresh, local foods to underserved populations, while assuring that farmers receive a fair and economically sustainable profit.
(2)    Educate the public (adults, children, elderly) and elected officials about the benefits of nutritious foods and healthy lifestyles while emphasizing the connection with fresh, local food as much as possible.
(3)    Galvanize financial, political and public support for healthy lifestyles (food and health issues) in Southern Maryland.
(4)    Inform policy-making to address the food, poverty and health issues as they arise.
(5)    Create a network of interested and informed organizations, including schools, health organizations, and all others addressing the nutritional and land use needs for underserved populations.

1.  MEMBERSHIP OF THE COUNCIL.  Terms for Council members will be two years with an option to renew. Staggered rotations will begin in 2013 and initial term expirations in 2014. The Council will elect new members as needed.

The Council shall strive to gain representation from all three Southern Maryland counties and must contain a minimum of 11 and a maximum of 20 members.

Rotating members – 2 year terms:

  • Table crop producers (2) – (farmers, watermen)
  • Chef/cook (1)
  • Large-scale food processor (1)
  • Grocer (1)
  • Anti-hunger (1-3)
  • Extension (1)
  • At-large community member (1-3)
  • Healthcare (1) – (preferably nutritionist)
  • Food services (1-2) – (schools, hospitals, etc)
  • Agricultural development (1-2)
  • County government (1-2) – (Economic development, land-use, health, or social services)
  • Education (1)

Additional Special Members, Honorary and Advisory Members (Non-Voting):
May be invited as needed.

2. COMMITTEES.  Composition of Committees shall be voluntary, but the Committee Chair shall insure that each Committee consists of at least one Council Member. Each Committee shall elect their own Chair.

3. QUALIFICATIONS, ELECTIONS AND TERMS OF OFFICE.  Any voting member of the Council shall be eligible for the Chair or Vice-Chair position, so long as there is no conflict of interest.

Recommendations for the Chair and Vice-Chair positions shall be elected by a majority vote of the Council.
The Chair and Vice-Chair shall serve for a two-year term, with no limitation on terms.

4. REGULAR MEETINGS AND NOTICE.  The Council shall adopt a regular meeting schedule each year, which can be amended.
Each Council Member shall be notified of regular and special meetings by email and/or by telephone a minimum of five days in advance. Notice of any such meeting need not be given to any member who notifies the staff that he/she will not be available for the meeting.

5. QUORUM.  A fifty-one (51) percent majority of the Council membership shall be considered a quorum for any meeting or decision of the Council or Committees. If less than a quorum is present, a majority of those present may adjourn the meeting to another time.

6. ACTION TAKEN BY MAJORITY WRITTEN CONSENT.  Any action required may be taken without a meeting, if a written consent, which sets forth the action so taken, shall be signed by a majority of the members and filed with the minutes of the proceedings. Email consent is acceptable.

7. TELEPHONIC MEETING. Participation by telephone at Council meetings is not allowed with the exception of extreme emergencies and with approval by the Chair or the Chair’s designee at least two hours in advance. Committees may set their own policies regarding telephone participation.

8. ATTENDANCE.  Members are required to attend at least 2/3 of the general meetings within a calendar year.  Failure to attend 2/3 of the meetings within a calendar year without providing prior notice of good cause to the Chair for his or her absence will constitute cause for dismissal.

9. BYLAWS.  Bylaws may be amended as needed with previous notice and 2/3 approval of the Council.

Approved 6/11/13