Leslie Sarasin, Food Marketing Institute President, Partnership Board Chairwoman

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In early 2010, following substantial discussion with our current Contributing Partners and Federal liaisons, the Partnership Board of Directors launched a needs analysis process designed to identify areas where the Partnership could add the most value in efforts to educate the public about safe food handling. When we started we didn’t have the resources to “go national” with our conversation on the future of the Partnership.

This changed when our partners in the FDA, in September, 2010, supported the Partnership with a grant that allowed us to engage a great many more stakeholders and also to contract for a multi-year resource development plan so we could grow the Partnership’s operational capacity commensurate with its national mission.

I am very pleased to say that the Partnership’s Board of Directors, on June 7, approved the new national action plan after it was discussed with a leadership steering committee in late May. The plan is envisioned as a three-year plan with three primary focus areas:

1. Leading efforts to evaluate the impact of consumer food safety education;
2. Convening and supporting practitioners inside and outside government to work together to improve outcomes; and
3. Helping to tell the story of the impact thousands of food safety educators have on the health of people in their communities.

I am proud to have had the opportunity to Chair the Partnership’s Board during this exciting time. There are great challenges ahead, also, including the need for a concerted and sustained effort to raise the money necessary to allow the Partnership to execute this important leadership role.

If you are an existing contributing partner or corporate donor to the Partnership– thank you very much for your support!

If you are not yet a contributing partner or donor, I sincerely hope you will consider joining us. We will have an event in the fall with our partners to celebrate the new strategic direction. For now I just want to thank all the stakeholders who were involved in the planning process for your time and effort. It was a job extremely well done and we are grateful to you. Please stay involved as we move the new Partnership forward.