This paper will provide an opportunity to reflect upon the first 15 months of the Cork Food Policy Council (CFPC). Developed as a cross agency, multi-stakeholder initiative with encouragement from the City Council, the CFPC grew out of a community food initiative located within a neighbourhood displaying high levels of social exclusion. Using the success of several community gardens, alongside an existing commitment to become a WHO designated 'Healthy City', the CFPC was able to claim 'policy space' through which to develop conversations around food. The paper will describe the highly successful public launch that was centred around a 'Feed the 5,000' event in which class II vegetables and other food products close to their 'use by' dates were procured to produce a free meal for the general public. Not only did this event serve to highlight the issue of food waste, but it carved out a space in public debate for the FPC to legitimately raise issues around food, diet, sustainability and health. The paper will use this experience to argue that food policy councils can be powerful vehicles around which to ensure that food issues begin to be addressed by local authorities.