Advocates for Urban Agriculture (Greater Chicago)
Illinois Local Food and Farms Coalition (Illinois)
Illinois Farmers Market Assn. (serving all 300+ Illinois markets)
Good Greens Midwest (6 states served by USDA FNS Midwest Office: IL,
IN, OH, MI, MN, WI, based in Chicago)
Women, Food and Agriculture Network (national, based in Iowa)
cc: Miriam Bernard, Exec. Director - CFSC
Mark Winne - CFSC
Many of you have no doubt heard that the Community Food Security
Coalition is closing up shop. For those who have not yet heard, I am
copying the email announcement, as well as Mark Winne's assessment of
the future of Food Policy Council work. Mark was the CFSC
staffperson who supported FPCs.
Food Policy Council work was not the only work that CFSC did. For 16
years, CFSC has held the national (perhaps North American) center of
grassroots food system building and food system policy making.
National Farm to School (Farm to Cafeteria) was originally part of
CFSC, until they became an independent organization (last year ?).
CFSC hosted national conferences, trainings, and produced multiple
publications that will continue to be useful long into the future.
This is indeed a sad moment in the history of food security and food
sovereignty in the 21st century. On the other hand, the disbanding
of CFSC as a single organization seems to be a direct growth of the
overall movement. As each component grew, it naturally was spun off
into an independent entity. According to the announcement and the
website, the next few months will complete this spinning off
process. This is probably a healthy process for all of us and I
support CFSC's priority in this time of transition: their staff.
I personally believe that we still need a national grassroots
coalition for food systems and for developing national policies that
will remove the countless barriers that current federal policy has
placed on feeding ourselves. Such advocacy needs to go way beyond
the Farm Bill and the Child Nutrition Act, possibly to a
Constitutional amendment (e.g., defining corporate personhood). It
is not yet clear to me which organization will step up, or whether it
will be a new entity providing a forum for creating a national
advocacy agenda. With mixed emotions, I believe that we are watching
history in the making.
Thanks to everyone at CFSC for holding the center for 16 years. May
you all find new opportunities. In the world of 2012, most of us
are having to re-invent ourselves, as we re-invent the food system
(which creates the human world) and as we re-invent public discourse
and public process (which creates the food system). .
D. Hillman Strategies: Food Policy for Voters
Evanston Food Council (co-founder and chairperson)
Illinois Local Food and Farms Coalition (co-founder)
Illinois Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Council (co-founder)
Cook County Food System Steering Committee (member)
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Dear Community Food Security Coalition community:
I am writing to let you know that after 16 years of leadership,
collaboration, and groundbreaking work in the food justice movement,
the Board of Directors and senior staff of the Community Food Security
Coalition have made the difficult decision to begin transitioning our
programs and services to our trusted partner organizations and
coalition members and close current operations of the Community Food
Security Coalition by the end of 2012.
The inspiring growth of the food movement in the last few years has
brought a diverse range of extraordinary and highly skilled partner
organizations to the movement, and grant funding has become more
competitive. As several of our significant grants come to a close, we
had to ask ourselves a tough question: What will best serve the
movement? Should we compete for funding, or sow our work with great
care back into the broader movement, where we know it will continue to
At CFSC’s 2011 Annual Conference, one of our members referenced a book
about movement building and the evolving model of organizations called
“The Starfish and the Spider.” A spider, when you cut off one of its
legs, becomes weaker. A starfish, on the other hand, when faced with
the loss of a leg, regenerates another—and the first leg, off on its
own, grows a new starfish. “Is CFSC a starfish or a spider?” we asked
As a new leader within CFSC, I spent the last months in conversation
with our membership and our leaders, contemplating our purpose and our
role within the movement. Ultimately, our leadership came to the
decision that the movement is best served by sunsetting CFSC’s
operations, and embedding components of our work with trusted partner
organizations. We are the starfish.
On behalf of CFSC, I humbly thank the hundreds of organizers,
activists, staff and members who made this great organization a
founding cornerstone of this vibrant movement.
As we implement our transition plans over the next few months, I
encourage you to follow our blog to stay updated, and visit the FAQ
page of our website for more information. I welcome your thoughts and
ideas as we embark upon this next chapter together.
In great solidarity and with deep gratitude,
Miriam Barnard, Executive Director
with Darlene Wolnik, Chair, CFSC Board of Directors and the CFSC Board
Community Food Security Coalition 3830 SE Division Portland, OR 97202
From: Mark Winne <wi...@aol.com>
Date: August 6, 2012 5:21:41 PM CDT
Subject: [fpc] Fwd: Important Announcement from CFSC
Hello Food Policy Council List Members.
As you will see from the notice below, the Community Food Security
Coalition is closing its doors. This is an unfortunate decision, but
one that its board of directors felt obligated to make.
While CFSC will fade away, the interest and excitement around FPCs and
the role they play in the larger community food security movement will
not. As our recent FPC census indicated, we now have 193 FPCs in North
America compared to 111 in 2010. This list alone has nearly tripled in
size in the last 3 years to over 500 members.
I would like to let everyone on this list know that I plan to continue
the work of assisting with the development of food policy councils
across North America under the auspices of my own consulting firm,
Mark Winne Associates. The work is too important and the need to
empower communities too great to quit now. While I do plan to seek
institutional support or affiliation with one or more other
organizations, my doors will remain open to help those who seek my
assistance. It is also my intent to maintain this list as well as some
of the other FPC-related assets of CFSC.
I welcome your thoughts on how we can together best serve the growing
FPC movement. I will keep you posted as things develop, but in the
meantime, please feel free to be in touch.
With good wishes,
41 Arroyo Hondo Trail
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508
(505) 983-3047; mobile (860) 558-8226
Author of Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cookin' Mamas:
Fighting Back in an Age of Industrial Agriculture (Beacon Press 2010)