The Grow Dat Youth Farm Local Foodenvisioning just and sustainable food systems in New Orleans and beyond
Why local? Potential benefits of local food systems● Increased transparency and oversight of food production ● positive environmental impacts ● addressing inequities in access to food● freshness and taste: on average, locally-harvest produce is sold within 24 hours of being harvested● grown in NOLA, sold in NOLA - supporting local economy through jobs, local businesses, agri/food tourism ● opportunities for community building and education
Envisioning a just and sustainable food system: ● commitment to equity ● democratic processes ● participation of diverse stakeholders ● knowledge of spatial and historical inequities ● allowance for local might not always be betterDefinition of socially just food system: one in which power and material resources are shared equitably so that people and communities can meet their needs and livewith security and dignity now and into the future (Activist Researcher Consortium, 2004) Patricia Allen, 2009
Local Food Trends: National Growth Community gardens: Estimated 18,000 Community Gardens throughout the United States and Canada. (American Community Gardening Association) Farm to school: National Farm to School program establishedby the USDA in 2000. By 2009, there were over 2,000 programs in 40 states (National Farm to School Network)Small-scale farms: The number of farms in the U.S. grew 4%from 2004-09 and new farms have more diversifiedproduction, fewer acres, lower sales and younger operators.U.S. farmers are increasingly demographically diverse: 2007Census counted nearly 30% more women as principal farmoperators, Hispanic operators grew by 10%, and AmericanIndian, Asian and Black farm operators increased as well.(USDA)
Local Food Trends: Local and Regional Growth Green = farms Red = farmers markets Source: LocalHarvest.org
Local and Regional Growth: example from Crescent City Farmers Market ● Crescent City Farmers Market (a project of marketumbrella.org) was established in mid 1990s. ● Now has three locations attracting 140,903 shoppers per year with a gross of $6.66 million. ● CCFMs combined economic impact is estimated to be $11.66 million for its vendors, host neighborhoods, and surrounding region.
Fertile Ground: Local Food in New Orleans● long history of public markets in the city● strong traditions of urban gardening (Backyard Gardeners Network)● prevalence of mobile vending: truck farm stands and door- to-door sales (Mr. Okra)● robust food culture, domestic and restaurant-based● local heirloom foods (mirlitons, creole tomatoes, seafood)
The New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee FPACMISSION: The Food Policy Advisory Committee (FPAC) was formed by the NewOrleans City Council to identify ways that our city and state officials can supportequitable access to fresh healthy food. The Committee includes a diverse groupof leaders from the public, private, and civic sectors.FPAC 1: “Building Healthy Communities: Expanding Access to Fresh Food Retail”2008: Reportcontains 10 practical recommendations to increase access to grocery stores, markets, and other retailoutlets that sell healthy food. The City Council unanimously passed a resolution expressing support forthe FPAC recommendations and instructing a task force to work toward their implementation. The Cityof New Orleans identified $7 million in disaster Community Development Block Grants (d-CDBG) fundsfor the Fresh Food Retail Incentives (FFRI) programFFRI awards to: ● the iconic Circle Food Market in the Seventh Ward ● DaFresh Seafood Market in Central City ● redevelop former Schwegmanns site in Mid-City: Whole Foods affordable store announced last monthFPAC 2: “Stepping Up to the Plate: Transforming School Food in New Orleans” 2010: Reportreleased containing 8 recommendations to improve and transform school food, the local economy, andsustainable agriculture in the region.
Branching Out, Looking ForwardFood Hubs:USDA working definition: “a centrally located facility with abusiness management structure facilitating the aggregation,storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing oflocally/regionally produced food products.”By actively coordinating these activities along the valuechain, food hubs are providing wider access to institutionaland retail markets for small to mid-sized producers, andincreasing access of fresh healthy food for consumers,including underserved areas and food deserts.