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DCMS Foundation spearheads community-wide food deserts public policy coalition

Tuesday, August 8, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: DCMS Foundation
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In response to our successful Future of Healthcare Conference held in May, with the outcome focusing on food deserts, the DCMS Foundation is excited and committed to addressing this issue through an established community-wide coalition. The Food Deserts Public Policy Coalition has a mission of improving the access to healthy food items in the underserved areas of Duval County in a strategic and tactical manner. Chairing the diverse and well represented coalition, Dr. Sunil Joshi, has determined that, "although our goal is to have a sustainable impact on food insecurities which also brings economic development to the areas that need it the most, we do not wish to reinvent the wheel, but to enhance what is currently in progress while recognizing each other’s areas of strength, abilities and potential resources."

Working with coalition members representing city leaders, state representatives, US representatives, attorneys, the business community, area hospitals, area colleges and key nonprofits working within neighborhoods of need, the coalition strongly reflects area expertise and knowledge while providing valuable input integral to achieving success for both short- and long-term goals for making a sustainable impact in the underserved areas of NE Florida. To ensure long-term success, the coalition is focused on public policy development and implementation. Rick Mullaney, Director of Public Policy, JU, is serving to provide guidance and assistance with the ‘7 Steps for Developing Successful Public Policy.’ A roster of Coalition members is available at:

To effectively accomplish specific points within the 7 Steps for Developing Successful Public Policy, Dr. Joshi has appointed three subcommittees in the areas of:  Research; Solutions; and Adoption/Implementation/Execution. Each of these subcommittees have a specific charge/goal and are comprised of expert individuals currently serving on the Coalition. These subcommittees will be meeting over the next two months and will report their findings this fall. At that time, the Coalition will outline the next steps for achieving public policy change.  To further share the short- and long-term goals of the Coalition, a 2018 winter meeting with city leaders, the public at-large and the news media, is in the planning process.

The DCMS Foundation is pleased to recognize the Food Deserts Public Policy Coalition as a key initiative of philanthropic focus in improving the overall health of our community. Fostering current relationships with strategic partners will be an integral component to our success in creating economic mobility while increasing healthy food options in our underserved neighborhoods. We also anticipate providing an update of this impact at our next annual Future of Healthcare Conference scheduled May 21-22, 2018, at the Lexington Hotel & Convention Center, Jacksonville.