In March of 2015, Chautauqua County was selected as one of eight communities to participate in the Growing Food Connections Communities of Opportunities program. This initiative identified both opportunities and challenges within the County’s food system. From there, the University at Buffalo’s Food System Planning and Healthy Communities Lab published a report “Cultivating Prosperity in Chautauqua County: Leveraging the Food System as a Catalyst for Economic Development”, outlining a number of recommendations to improve the County’s food system. One of those recommendations was to form a county food policy council.
The Chautauqua County Food Policy Council was officially established in April of 2019 by the Chautauqua County Legislature. After careful deliberation, it was decided that the food policy council would be housed within County government and would be made of a diverse range of food system stakeholders. The Council held its first meeting in August of 2019.