About Us

Who we are…
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 Council’s work is in building partnerships, identifying issues, and coordinating action. This is a unique model that brings together all the many interests in the food system to solve community problems.

The council is made up of small food producers and farmers, non-profit leaders, elected officials, local chefs and business owners, public health educators and nutritionists, community gardeners, and community members.

OCFC currently has two work groups that were determined from a baseline food assessment: Food Access Local Food Economy. 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.

The Council meets monthly on the first Monday of every month.


A little history…
The Food Council spent about a year in a “task force” phase from 2015 to 2016, where a group of stakeholders met to determine what a food council in Orange County would 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.


What is a food council?
Generally, food councils seek to bring together lots of viewpoints and stakeholders from within a food system to identify issues and coordinate action.

Our partners at Community Food Strategies define a food council as organizations that, “build connections across stakeholders and collaborate to improve health, food access, natural resource protection, economic development, and production agriculture for all its community’s citizens. Using this cross-sector approach, food councils solve broad food system issues and give communities more control over the food they consume.”

Food councils are community-driven efforts that require your input, engagement, and support! Please consider joining one of the Food Council’s workgroups, applying to become a member, and/or attending one of our events.


This wordpress site was initially developed by the following folks:

  • 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

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