About Us


The Orange County Food Council’s mission is to grow and support a community-driven food system in the Orange County region of North Carolina.

About OCFC
We are a coalition of community members working together to grow a local food system that promotes health, sustainable agriculture, a thriving local economy and access for all. The council is made up of small food producers and farmers, non-profit leaders, elected officials, local chefs, small businesses, public health educators and nutritionists, faith leaders, community gardeners and community members.

How we work
Build strategic partnerships across all sectors, identify issues, recommend policies, and coordinate action to ensure access to nutritious foods for all, promote sustainable agriculture, increase economic development, and advance social justice.

OCFC Vision
Our Vision is that the Orange County region will have a sustainable, community-driven and just food system that preserves farmland and natural resources, fosters community wellness, ensures food sovereignty and builds a resilient regional food economy.

Get Involved
Join us at one of our monthly meetings!
The Food Council alternates monthly meetings between the northern and southern parts of the County. Food Council meetings are open to the public and all are welcome to join! Please contact us at ocfoodcouncil@gmail.com to learn where we are meeting and how you can get involved.

OCFC Calendar
Orange County Food Council meets first Monday of every month 4:30 – 6:30pm
Food Access Workgroup meets the 2nd Thursday of each month from 6-7:30pm at Rogers Rd Community Center
Local Food Economy Workgroup meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 5:30-7pm in Hillsborough (location changes monthly)
Waste Rescue Workgroup meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 9-10:30am (location changes monthly)
* All meeting dates/times are subject to change. Please contact us at ocfoodcouncil@gmail.com for meeting times and locations.

Our Story
The Orange County Food Council was formed in the spring of 2016 with the goal of growing a local food system that ensures health, sustainable agriculture, and access for all. The Food Council spent about a year in a “task force” phase from 2015 to 2016, where a group of community stakeholders met to determine what a food council in Orange County could look like. The group drafted a mission statement, brainstormed and proposed a structure, and considered what type of organization the food council could become. The committee determined that the Orange County Food Council would consist of a central group of 12-15 people, coordinating and facilitating communication between work groups, who will work on specific projects or subject areas. The first members of the Orange County Food Council were selected in the summer of 2016 and a part-time coordinator was hired later that fall. Since forming, the Council has formed 3 working groups focused on food access, the local food economy and waste within the regional food system.

OCFC currently has three working groups that were determined from a baseline food assessment and formed from community forums.

Food Access:  All Orange County residents to have access to healthy, affordable, and local food and for there to be equitable participation in the food system

Local Food Economy:  Grow and support the local food and farm economy

Waste Rescue:  
Advocate for the education and empowerment of the greater Triangle Community to reimagine waste utilization and reduce food waste

If you are interested in learning more about the council or joining one of the workgroups, please contact us at ocfoodcouncil@gmail.com or follow us on Facebook.

Special thanks to the partners that helped the OCFC develop an initial website:
Sarah Blacklin – NC Choices at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS)
Larissa Calancie – UNC Chapel Hill, Nutrition Department
Jared Cates – Carolina Farmer Stewardship Association (CFSA)
Molly DeMarco – Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) at UNC
Carl Matyac – Cooperative Extension, NC State
Ashley Mercer – Orange County Health Department