KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

On Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 8:30 a.m. at Beardsley Community Farm, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon, current and former members of the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council, and other local and state officials will gather to celebrate this anniversary. The program will include proclamations from Kincannon, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ Office and state officials. The inaugural Wilson Awards will also be presented.

The Wilson Awards is named in honor of the late Robert Wilson, who died earlier this year. Wilson was a University of Tennessee Graduate School of Planning professor who rallied students and the community to the idea of incorporating food access into community plans in the early 1980s.

The Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council was formed in 1982. According to the city, it is the oldest municipal food policy council in the United States. The council acts as a forum to develop and assess public policy strategies and make recommendations that promote a healthy and sustainable food system.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the council formed a food access committee to make sure emergency food supplies were available for vulnerable populations.

The council is made up of appointed (voting) and associate (non-voting) members. Knoxville Mayor appoints five members, and the Knox County Mayor appoints six members. The appointed members can serve two consecutive three-year terms.

The associate members are invited by the council and are typically food system stakeholders. The council’s meetings are also open to the public.

To learn more about the council, click here.