“Health care leaders are broadening their awareness to include the need to address the food system as a means to individual, public, and global health, above and beyond basic nutritional factors. Key voices from the health care sector have begun to engage in market transformation and are aggregating to articulate the urgency for engagement in food and agricultural policy. Systemic transformation requires a range of policies that complement one another and address various aspects of the food system. Health care involvement in policy and advocacy is vital to solve the expanding ecological health crises facing our nation and globe and will require an urgency that may be unprecedented.”
(This page has expanded to a sister blog. Check out Food is Politics.)
Access to healthy food is more important than ever, yet enacting even modest, targeted changes related to the food system crisscrosses a busy public policy intersection where planning, land use and development, public health, agriculture and water, labor and redevelopment, environmental and basic human rights concerns rarely share the same language, data or objectives.
Here in San Diego, the passions, industry and involvement of urban agriculturalists are sparking a local food security movement that focuses on justice, environmental and public health concerns. School and community gardens, urban farms, and farm-to-cafeteria initiatives are taking root all over the county and highlighting many of the key areas where policy change can focus on, envision, and build a sustainable San Diego for the future. San Diegans involved in advocacy for food policy change are creating a novel network of collaborative relationships among residents, elected and appointed officials, business owners, educators and many other important stakeholders. They also may be creating a new model for spurring civic engagement and incorporating community input into broad-based policy change in our region.
Where old policies collide, new food policies can coincide. . .
Food is Politics is this blog’s new adjoining location for chronicling how the local food movement is breathing new life into our local democracy. As much as ever, we seek to lift up the cross-cutting issues that are affecting many of the most vulnerable San Diegans during this time of fiscal crisis for the State of California, when economic recovery is needed for all USAmerican families and households. For instance, San Diego’s terribly low participation rates in federal nutritional assistance programs (e.g., EBT/SNAP/food stamps) have placed our county in the hot seat to do better for families in need. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that many liberal-to-moderate groups are coming out in favor of Labor’s term limits proposal for County Supervisors, which will be decided by voters in June 2010.
NEWS: HOW DOES THE FOOD SYSTEM AFFECT SAN DIEGANS?
- SPIN organizes a Call to Action for Food Stamps 3/5/10. Check out SPIN’s report Hunger and the Safety Net in San Diego County.
- Backlash Against the Poor: Moderates Slam Food Stamps (EBT) at Farmers’ Markets? Read 2/28/10. Act!
- Food Deserts–READ Why There Are No Grocery Stores in Logan Heights and WATCH San Diego Explained 2/25/10.
VIEWS: WHAT CAN WE DO TO CHANGE THE FOOD SYSTEM?
- 3/22 5:00 to 7:00pm – Attend Town Hall Meeting at SDSU Campus (Hepner Hall, Room 214) on the impact of the current recession on food security, food justice, and immigrant communities. The purpose is to gather community feedback and report it to the Chancellor’s Office and the State of California.
- Help create comprehensive Food Policy by learning about other cities’ successes. See Oakland, San Francisco, Vancouver.
- Join the Fair Food Movement.
- Join the People’s Produce Project in South East San Diego!
- Check out Food is Politics for more links to local San Diego efforts.