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Growth Phase Tools & Resources


Much like a healthy plant develops its roots and limbs before bearing leaves or fruit,  a healthy food council prepares for its real work by developing its structure.

If your community already has a food council and you answer ‘No’ to any of the following questions, you may be in the growth phase of food council development.

  • Does your council have an inclusive decision-making process?
  • Does your council structure allow for sub-committees and ensure coordination across them?
  • Does your council have a communication plan in place?
  • Has the council secured adequate resources to support the functions of the council?
  • Do council members know how to access available resources?
  • Does your council have by-laws or other documentation of its governance?
  • Does your council have an assessment or other findings from which it can develop a strategic plan?  If so, has a strategic plan been developed? If so, has a corresponding workplan been developed?

Many growth phase tasks may run concurrently with the expansion phase. It is sometimes advantageous for a council to divide into two groups, one handling growth tasks while the other handles expansion.  As long as both groups interact with each other, and the expansion tasks don’t outpace the growth tasks, this arrangement allows both ‘doers’ and ‘planners’ to find satisfaction working with the council.  Meeting the needs of both types of members helps to build energy and momentum for the council.