(a) The Mayor shall establish a Food Policy Council, whose purpose shall be to:
(1) Promote food access, food sustainability, and a local food economy, including non-mainstream producers, in the District;
(2) Monitor regulatory barriers to the development of a local food economy, including barriers to the operations of farmers markets, existing food assets in the local food economy, and job creation potential in the local food economy, which shall be included in the annual report submitted to the Council of the District of Columbia in accordance with subsection (c) of this section and may be reported to the Council and relevant agencies more frequently if needed;
(3) Collect and analyze data on the local food economy and food access in the District, including an assessment of food deserts; and
(4) Monitor and research national best practices in food policy, including public health policy for dietary-related illness, and determine how they could be implemented in the District.
(b) The Food Policy Council shall advise the Food Policy Director appointed pursuant to § 48-314(a) on how to promote food access, food sustainability, and a local food economy in the District, how to reduce regulatory barriers to the development of a local food economy, and how to implement national best practices in food policy in the District.
(c) The Food Policy Council shall provide an annual report to the Council of the District of Columbia on the state of the local food economy and food access across the District. The first report shall be due within 240 days of March 10, 2015. Thereafter, the Food Policy Council shall submit a report on December 31 of each year. The report shall identify national best practices in food policy, assess District food access, including an identification of food deserts, assess District food assets, recommend revisions to regulations and policies that affect the local food economy and food access, and identify funding priorities.
(d) The Food Policy Council may apply for any federal, public, or private grant or funding that would enhance its ability to improve food policy and equity in the District.