Advocating for Policy Change in Blaine County, Idaho: The Role of the Food Council

In Blaine County, Idaho, the food council is a vital part of the community. It is the only organization with the capacity to meet the ever-changing needs of food assistance. Established in 1997, the food council has been advocating for policy change in the county and beyond. National special interest groups have invested millions of dollars to make savings and voucher programs for education a reality in states such as Arizona, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.

These same donors spent hundreds of thousands of dollars during the Idaho midterm elections to ensure that legislators in favor of choosing schools occupied as many seats as possible in the Idaho Legislature. In September, a joint resolution was presented to the Senate Education Committee that would repeal the Blaine Amendment to the Idaho Constitution, and on Tuesday, a bill was introduced that would create the first savings account program for education in Idaho. Mary Shea, the Democratic candidate who ran against Manwaring in the Pocatello area and lost with 47% to 52% of the vote, said that two weeks before the general elections, she had received one of the emails from the Idaho Federation for Children at home and that the issue was not about school choice. The food council has been instrumental in advocating for policy change in Blaine County.

It has worked tirelessly to ensure that national special interest groups are held accountable for their investments and that legislators are held accountable for their decisions. The food council has also been instrumental in promoting local foods and increasing access to fresh, nutritious food. Local foods support the health of families and communities, local food production and consumption promote sustainability, stimulate local economies, preserve rural livelihoods and farmland, and increase access to fresh, nutritious food. The food council is an essential part of Blaine County's community.

It is committed to advocating for policy change and promoting local foods to ensure that all members of its community have access to fresh, nutritious food.