October 24, 11:41 AM click here to comment > 4
Toward a healthy food future for Seattle
Seattle has been a national leader in working toward healthy, local, sustainable food systems. On October 24th, National Food Day, we are taking the next step by releasing the Seattle Food Action Plan.
“The action plan creates the path for our City’s food future,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “It will help strengthen our food economy, ensure that more people can grow food locally, and improve access to for everyone in our community to affordable healthy food.”
Councilmember Richard Conlin said, “Farmland preservation, environmental sustainability, regional economic development, and better food access are all essential pieces of creating a better and more just food system in Seattle. This plan is a commitment to those goals.”
The plan lays out steps for City government to take in our departments, programs, and policies to achieve four goals:
The food action plan builds on Seattle’s leadership in food policy and programs. It calls for strengthening programs, such as the P-Patch community gardening program, which will have 90 gardens throughout Seattle by 2013. It calls for a focus on children and youth – for example, expanding the Farm to Childcare program. This program gets healthy food from local farmers into childcare sites, trains childcare providers on nutrition and cooking, and brings kids to local farms to learn where their food comes from.
It also calls for looking at where the City has unique opportunities. For example, we can lease underutilized land to urban farmers, who want to grow more food in the city.
We want everyone in Seattle to have easy access to a place to buy fresh food. The action plan calls for keeping food access in mind as we plan for the future of our neighborhoods and our transportation systems, and for evaluating incentives to bring healthy food retail to neighborhoods where people don’t currently have a place to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables.
It also calls for additional research and for collaboration. Strengthening our research efforts helps us be more successful. And collaboration with businesses, individuals, non-profit organizations, community groups, and other government agencies ensures that we’re all on the same path together.
We hope you will join us as we work to build a healthy food future for all.
Posted by: Sharon Lerman, Food Policy Advisor