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The Frederick County Food Council is dedicated to ensuring a healthy, resilient food supply for all County residents both now and in an uncertain future. As a convening body for local food system stakeholders, we

  • Advocate for food system resiliency at the state and local level;

  • Support efforts that sustain farmers, improve soil health, and strengthen the local food economy; and

  • Promote initiatives that increase healthy eating, reduce food waste, diminish food insecurity, and distribute fresh local food equitably.


How We Do It

Law Office


We build community support  for local producers and public health by advocating for state and local policies and programs that support a resilient food system based on regenerative agricultural practices.

Inform and Build Alliances 

We convene quarterly to share information, listen, learn, and support alliances that help build a resilient food system for our community and region.  


Digging In 


Monthly news about local agriculture, our work and that of partners, to build the fundamental infrastructure and support for a resilient food system.  If you have news to offer please let us know!

Meet Our Team


Lee Babcock

Lee retired to Frederick County after a long career in international agricultural development.  He joined the Food Council in 2019 noting his concern with lack of local food supply chains. Lee serves as the point person for the MD Food Systems Resiliency Council,

 Chair term: 2023-2025.

Get in touch:

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Vice Chair
position open

The Vice-Chair supports developing strategic direction, proposal and partnership development.  Helps lead quarterly Food Council meetings.

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Alison Wexler

Alison Wexler is the owner of Sand Garden Health & Wellness Coaching here in Frederick and is one of only three National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coaches actively working in the county. She is also a trained CHEF Culinary Coach. Prior to her career in coaching, she worked extensively in non-profit and for-profit business operations. She moved to Frederick with her husband and son in 2021.

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Advocacy Lead
position open

The Advocacy Lead for FCFC responds to requests and initiates support for bills and proposals at the state and local levels that further local food supply chain infrastructure and partnership/investment. 

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Government Liaison
position open

The Food Council's Government Liaison builds relations with leaders and elected officials and develops educational materials and presentations about how to build food security into the fabric of our community.  


Nora Wade, Editor
Digging In 

Nora discovered the FCFC as an avid customer of Frederick Fresh Online. She has worked for a local life insurance company for over 28 years, most recently as a Senior Data Analyst, and has resided in Frederick for the past 12 years. In addition to her work with FCFC, she volunteers with the AWLFC, is a member of several Toastmasters clubs, and
spends her remaining free time gardening, birdwatching, reading, and taking Improv


Melanie Smith-Bell
Social Media Manager

Melanie has been with the Food council and its earlier iterations for many years. Though she now lives in California, she continues to use her local expertise to help promote the FCFC on our Facebook page.


Janice Wiles

Janice co-founded the Food Council in 2018.  She is a master gardener and owns a vegetable, herb and small fruit CSA and native plant nursery/ecological landscaping business in the Finger Lakes region, NY.  She resides in Frederick County November - March. 


Lisa Orr

Lisa co-founded the Food Council in 2018 after a long career serving Frederick County residents and government.  She took leadership of the Frederick Fresh Online pilot project, and has been actively engaged in the Frederick County Compost Work Group,  the Climate Emergency Mobilization Working Group, and Mobilize Frederick. 


Joanne Coates-Hunter

JoAnn co-founded the Frederick County Food Council in 2018, She is Director for Fox Haven Farm and Learning Center where she oversees operations, directs educational programs, teaches, and brings her knowledge and excitement about the wonders of nature to visitors of all ages. She is dedicated to building a local food system for her community.

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Sharon Gray

Sharon is co-Owner of Gray Enterprises and supports the food council as tax preparer, and accountant, and has supported the  Food Council since its inception.  

Our Partners

Check out our amazing partners. They join the Food Council with their dedication to building a resilient, locally based, food system that serves all citizens in Frederick County.

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Bar T Mountainside

Bar T Mountainside made the Frederick Fresh Online (FFO), a Food Council pilot project, possible.  From June 2020 - February 2023  Bar T's barn and facilities offered FFO a place for farmer deliveries, order aggregation, and customer pick-ups. Bar-T Mountainside campus lent us use of their walk-in refrigerators, freezers, and more.  We are grateful to Bar-T for their Food Council support.

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Farm to School


Farm to School Frederick (F2S) started as a project of Community FARE and the Frederick County Food Council, with community and USDA Food and Nutrition support.


In 2022 we launched F2S with pride and intent to become its own organization that will have greater reach and impact to better serve families in Frederick County.


Please join us at our Quarterly Meetings!  Each 1.5 hour meeting features a special guest speaker, a local producer and food provider, and committee and business updates. If you can't join in, you can read about them below! Meetings are currently held virtually on Zoom.


It's a Community Effort

The Frederick County Food Council is run by an incredible team of dedicated volunteers. If you would like to get involved, please fill out the form below.

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