San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom issued a comprehensive food policy for the City Wednesday – the first ever of its kind – and a sweeping plan for improving food accessible in the region. The plan, which seeks to ensure that area residents are able to obtain nutritious food, is expected to increase support of local farms, thereby impacting all of Northern California.
The policy calls for several actions. It requires that all departments audit land under their jurisdiction to find land suitable for gardening; that food sold by vendors (under city permits) meet new health and sustainability standards; that city meetings providing food make sure that food is healthy and locally-produced; and that, within two months, food the city purchases be grown regionally and sustainably. These actions are to be completed in 180 days.
Newsom formed the policy, in part, under the recommendations of the San Francisco Urban-Rural Roundtable, a group of urban and rural stakeholders (including California Secretary of Agriculture AG Kawamura). The Roundtable was formed with the assistance of food advocacy group Roots of Change.
The Roundtable recommended additional measures which, while not included in the policy, will be implemented. These measures include a trade mission connecting regional food growers to local restaurants and food purchasers and the use of philanthropic monies to supplement funds for residents who use food stamps at local farmers’ markets. The measures are expected to benefit regional businesses by increasing consumption of locally-produced food.
Newsom announced the policy at Oakland’s West Oakland Woods Urban Garden, run by City Slicker Farms. He was joined at the announcement by Kawamura and representatives of the United State Department of Agriculture.
(image from chow.com)