In the summer of 1977, a planning professor at the University of Tennessee, Robert L. Wilson, and nine graduate students began to look at Knoxville’s urban food system. Their report “Food Distribution and Consumption in Knoxville: Exploring Food-Related Local Planning Issues” identified areas of Knoxville where food access was limited. Their work help spur the creation of the first Food Policy Council in the world in Knoxville in 1982 and helped encourage the City to look at efforts to promote grocery retailers into areas where access was limited.
Based on that tradition of collaboration between the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the Knoxville-Knox County Food Policy Council, several reports on Knoxville’s food system have been produced by faculty, students, and council members in recent years. The Food Policy Council continues to study issues in our communities, holding community meetings and producing policy recommendations for Knoxville City Council, Knox County Commission, and other local food system stakeholders. New reports and tools will be added as available.