There are two issues of concern that are on a lot of people's minds in the city of Rochester. Those issues deal with food equity and food access. 

"We know that this is disproportionately impacting health disparities in communities of color, so cities have to begin to take the initiative to develop smart, thoughtful, progressive food policy," said Mitch Gruber, chief strategy officer with Foodlink.

What You Need To Know

  • The city of Rochester, Common Ground Health's Healthi Kids initiative, and Foodlink ae teaming up to discuss how a food policy council could come to the city

  • Issues of food equity and access impact communities of color, according to a chief strategy officer with Foodlink 

  • A meeting was held Wednesday to gauge public interest

To combat the disparity, Common Ground Health's Healthi Kids initiative has teamed up with Foodlink and the city to discuss how to start a food policy council.

"And a food policy council is one venue to be able to bring together people from what they are calling these varying sectors, so folks who work in agriculture, folks who work in distribution to be able to create this cross-section of individuals and organizations," said Tom Silva, from Foodlink. 

On Wednesday, they held a virtual meeting to gauge the public's interest. They also laid out what a food policy council can and cannot do. For instance, food policy councils don't have the power to create new grocery stores. 

"But, what we can do are things I talked about is limiting the number of dollar stores, creating zoning regulations about whose selling high processed calorie nutrition devoid food," said Gruber. 

The council will be open to youth and adults. 

"Whether they're teenagers or middle schoolers, we think that youth and are kids can be a vital part of this process, give us an important perspective that we often miss," said Mike Bulger, from Common Ground Health.