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City of Seattle

February 22, 10:53 AM click here to comment > 7

Our City, Our Food, Our Future: Listening sessions on food in our community

Access to healthy, affordable food is vital to our community. We’re working to increase access to healthy food for everyone in Seattle, not just those who can afford it. It’s one of the most important things we can do as a community to live longer, lead healthier lives, promote equity, and help our environment.

The City recently hired a new Food Policy Advisor, who is working in our Office of Sustainability and Environment to create an action agenda that further improves people’s ability to grow, eat, and sell local and healthy food in Seattle.

 

In order to create that agenda, I, together with City Councilmember Richard Conlin and the other members of our City Council, am bringing together stakeholders in the food community for a series of Our City, Our Food, Our Future listening sessions.  The priorities and opportunities that we hear about in these sessions will inform the City’s next steps for these issues. 

Almost every department at the City has been engaged and working together to create a city where all Seattleites have enough to eat and have access to affordable, local, healthy, culturally appropriate food. We’re working to make sure it’s easy to grow food in our city, whether for personal use or for business purposes, and easy to sell local and healthy food in our neighborhoods. We’re also educating people about the benefits of eating local and healthy food, and working to provide sustainable ways to deal with food waste.

Some of these programs are long-standing, such as the P-Patch program, senior meals, and food waste recycling.  More recently, we’ve taken other steps aimed at increasing shared prosperity, health, and environmental sustainability. For example, our Office of Economic Development has helped over 50 small business owners sell more healthy food in their stores, which helps support their businesses while at the same time increasing access to healthy food in areas of our city where it is hard to find.

Our Human Services Department’s Farm to Table program has been helping childcare centers and senior meal facilities get more fresh, healthy food from local farmers onto kids’ and seniors’ plates.  Our Parks Community Centers host a teen top chef program, engaging teens in cooking and eating healthy meals, and providing them with leadership opportunities in the process.  Our Department of Planning and Development changed the zoning code to expand opportunities for Seattleites to grow food in the City. And Seattle Public Utilities has helped food banks catch good food before it hits the waste stream and get it onto people’s plates.

If you’re interested in being part of our effort to increase access to local, healthy, food in our community, contact sharon.lerman@seattle.gov. We’ll share what we learn during the Our City, Our Food, Our Future listening sessions right here on our blog.

Public Meeting dates:
•Tuesday March 13, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Ravenna Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Avenue NE)
•Friday March 16, 1:00-4:00 p.m. – City Hall – Bertha Knight Landes Room (600 4th Avenue)
•Monday March 19, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Southside Commons (3518 S Edmunds Street)

RSVP here.

Photo by: Jen Nance

Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn

Comments

Comment from Natasha Freidus
Time February 22, 2012 at 6:58 pm

We’d love to see you at our “Healthy Food in South Park” event next week. Learn more at http://mappingvoices.org/blog/tasha/2012/02/03/south-park-move and check out some of the stories about food on our website!

Comment from Jim Osborn
Time February 24, 2012 at 10:48 am

Seems like a silly waste of city money when we have people being shot every night.

Comment from Mark Aggar
Time February 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

Glad to see this. If you want to go a step further, consider endorsing Meatless Mondays like some other progressive cities like San Francisco have done e.g. http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/san_francisco&id=7370993

Comment from Jill
Time February 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Save Alki crab and fish! If you really say you care about west Seattle people and food biz

Comment from Carol Hiltner
Time February 25, 2012 at 8:06 am

VERY, VERY important to remove legal roadblocks to growing food in the city. I love the community gardens, and hope they can be expanded so that everyone who wants to work the earth has land on which to do it.

Comment from Flor Alarcon
Time February 25, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Engage teens in community/school gardening club. Partner with middle and high schools. This has worked very effectively for many refugee and immigrants communities in other cities. For many immigrants and refugees these tasks were the norms in their home lands; growing their on vegetables and fruits. This was part of daily living having, “garden and harvesting”.

Comment from Nautilus Seafoods, Inc.
Time February 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Good stuff. We’ll be watching and if there’s anything we can do..don’t hesitate to call on us.

Nautilus Seafoods, Inc.
“Celebrating our Silver Anniversary Year”
1986-2012