Montgomery County Announces New Position to Enhance County’s Food System

Sam ApplefieldSubmitted Image

NORRISTOWN, PA — Montgomery County announced the recent addition of a new role within the Department of Health and Human Services. Sam Applefield has joined the county as the Food Policy Program Coordinator as of August 14, 2023.

“The addition of this role is a significant step toward reinforcing the County’s commitment to strengthening our local food system,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Kenneth Lawrence. “The Food Policy Program Coordinator’s focus spans the whole food system – from production to consumption, with particular attention to fostering collaboration across sectors and stakeholders within the food system, and developing and supporting initiatives and activities that support a sustainable and equitable local food economy.”

Applefield’s work with the county will build from the foundation of current food systems work occurring across multiple county departments and the recommendations set forth through Eat Local MontCo. Applefield will be responsible for coordinating and strategizing across food systems efforts within county departments and serving as a liaison to community organizations and other stakeholders involved in shaping Montgomery County’s food system. In this capacity, he will be developing a Food Policy Council with representatives from county departments and food system stakeholders with the goal of fostering a more just and equitable food system and food economy. Applefield will work with the council members to solidify shared priorities and develop and implement an action plan to address those priorities.

Before joining Montgomery County, Applefield worked for the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council for five years, leading the development and implementation of the Greater Pittsburgh Food Action Plan. During that time, he established a $3 million Pittsburgh Food Justice Fund and started a pilot program providing free or reduced transportation for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients in Allegheny County. Applefield holds a Master’s Degree in Food Studies from Chatham University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Goucher College.

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By investing in this new position, Montgomery County aims to further its mission of working together with people and organizations across the county to enhance its ability to address the evolving needs of the community.

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