Resident Food Equity Advisors
Resident Food Equity Advisors (RFEA) are cohorts of Baltimore City residents that work to collectively drive equitable food policies through an inclusive, collaborative process. Each cohort has a focused issue in need of resident input and guidance.
Advisors apply and are selected based on their passion for the issue, personal experience related to the topic, ability to commit to the group, and willingness to engage in deep, continual dialogue. Advisors attend 6+ meetings and are compensated for their time.
Dialogue and Transparency
Advisors participate in an intensive process to learn, share and engage. BFPI staff provide RFEAs with briefings from subject matter experts, share a government perspective, and facilitate discussions and activities to understand and gather RFEA priorities and suggestions. Conversations are open, honest, and allow the group to dive into the nuances and multifaceted factors that impact the issue at hand.
Through multiple iterations and back and forth discussion with RFEA and City staff, advisor input is translated into a set of policy recommendations, which are presented to relevant partners and elected officials to consider and incorporate into strategies and implementation plans.
Long Term Engagement
After the cohort is completed, past advisors remain engaged and connected through Food PAC and can always seek out City staff for partnership and support for their work in their communities.
2018/2019 Cohort: Small Food Retail
The 2018 Food Environment Maps show that corner and convenience stores have very low Healthy Food Availability Index (HFAI) scores. In response to these findings and feedback from 2017 advisors, the 2018 RFEA cohort discussed these stores from multiple angles, including legislation, zoning and land use, safety and security, community engagement, and business support. Advisors with the support of BFPI created recommendations around small food retail.