Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies

Committee Chair

Neva Hassanein

Commitee Members

Neva Hassanein, Paul Lachapelle, Caroline Stephens


food systems, food policy, local government, Missoula, food policy coordinator, food policy council


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Environmental Policy | Environmental Studies | Food Studies | Public Policy | Social Policy


Over the last several decades, food policy councils (FPCs) have led the effort to place food on local government policy agendas. While FPCs continue to make progress in supporting local food systems, they also face institutional and organizational challenges. In recent years, a handful of cities and counties have endeavored to further food system reform with the establishment of full-time food policy staff positions. Currently, there are 19 confirmed food policy positions housed in local governments across the U.S. While there is considerable literature on FPCs, little research has been published regarding governmental food policy staff positions. This study uses a review of existing scholarship about FPCs and original in-depth interviews with eleven governmental food policy coordinators to inform recommendations for one specific community: Missoula, MT. The Missoula community has a vibrant local food economy and has long been a leader in food system reform. In early 2020, the Missoula City Council and Board of County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to create the Missoula Food Policy Advisory Board. As the Board begins the vital work of coordinating the local food system, strengthening existing and developing new programs, and providing innovative policy recommendations, it has the opportunity to learn from and apply the experiences of communities across the U.S. engaged in food policy work. This report serves as a resource to the Board and offers unique recommendations for food systems stakeholders for advancing food policy on behalf of a healthy, sustainable, and equitable local food system.


© Copyright 2020 Erika Berglund