Cities across the United States and abroad are in agreement: current food systems are not serving the public interest. Public food procurement – or the share of a city’s food supply funded by government and government-sponsored institutions – is, arguably, one of the most effective tools that municipalities have to instigate a radical transformation of the current urban food system. One approach being used by cities is the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP), a metric based, flexible framework that encourages large institutions to direct their buying power toward five core values: local economies, environmental sustainability, valued workforce, animal welfare, and nutrition. As adoption of good food purchasing policies expands across the East Coast and the US as a whole, and a campaign to bring the GFPP to New York City gains traction, what can New York learn from the experiences of other cities? What sorts of obstacles should municipalities expect when embarking on more ambitious food procurement goals, such as those recently announced in the OneNYC 2050 plan? And, what strategies could city leaders employ to effectively surmount these obstacles? On May 30, join the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and invited experts to explore these and other key questions.
For decades, young people have been at the forefront of highlighting injustices and advocating for more equitable and democratic approaches to solving our nation’s and world’s most serious problems. They are a motor force for social improvement, and their passion, commitment and energy have been the fuel for many social movements including those that seek food justice. Food justice describes the goal of creating equitable food systems that promote human and planetary well-being for all, regardless of race, income, gender, profession, or residence. On April 25th, join the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, invited youth food justice leaders, and youth food justice program coordinators to discuss youth leadership in the food justice movement and to analyze critically how young people can realize opportunities and overcome obstacles to shaping local, national and global food environments and food systems.
New York City has long been a national leader in defining municipal role for ensuring access to safe and healthy food. But why does food safety matter? How has the level of food safety in New York City changed in the last decade? What are the emerging threats to food safety in New York City and the nation? What else could New York City do to better prevent food-borne illnesses? On Tuesday March 26, join the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and invited experts to explore these and other key questions.
Food democracy is central to the advancement of equitable, healthy, and sustainable urban food systems. In a Food Democracy all members of the agro-food system have equal and effective opportunities to design, operate, and participate in its stewardship. But what does it mean to practice food democracy? And how can food policy advocates connect to democracy activism in other sectors? How can we strengthen and expand opportunities for practicing food democracy in NYC and elsewhere? What tools, processes, competencies, and alliances do we need to increase citizen involvement in policymaking processes? How can communities typically absent from the table gain a voice and a seat that will make food policy decisions fairer? On February 28, join the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and invited experts to explore these and other key questions.
The CUNY Food Collaboratory brings together faculty and students from around the CUNY university system who are engaged in policy-relevant food research across disciplines. On January 29, five Collaboratory faculty members will share their recent work on food sovereignty; food and nutrition in immigrant communities; school gardens; youth obesity; and the role community college education plays in promoting food security and healthy eating. Researchers will present their findings and take audience questions as part of an in depth exploration into food-related scholarship at CUNY. This will be followed by an opportunity to meet informally and discuss their work in more detail.
What opportunities are there for expanding good food jobs – or food sector jobs that pay a decent wage; offer benefits, safe working conditions and pathways for career advancement; and make healthy affordable food more available in low-income communities – in New York City? What is currently missing to scale up existing innovations? Which policies, initiatives, and investments will best address current entrepreneurs and provide the conditions for good food jobs to flourish? On December 18th, join the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and a group of guest speakers to explore these and other key questions in this Urban Food Policy Forum.
How can food be a tool to engage communities? What might be some common goals, messages, and strategies for food, democracy, climate change and civil rights groups leading into the 2020 election? Could a New York City and State Food Policy Agenda for 2020 unify different constituencies? On November 29, join the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute to explore these and other key questions in this post-election Urban Food Policy Forum!
URBAN FOOD POLICY FORUM | Strategies for Confronting Epidemics of Fear and Hunger: The Future of Food Security in New York City
We are now in the public comment period for the Trump Administration proposal to revise the nation’s public charge rule. On December 10, 2018, this period will end. What is “public charge”? What is its current and potential impact for the well-being and food insecurity of immigrant communities in New York City and the US? More broadly, what are other threats to the future of food security in New York City? How can New York best protect the advances in reducing food insecurity of the last two decades? On October 30, join the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute to discuss the public charge rule proposal as well as other threats to food security. The Forum will also provide updates from a new working group focused on immigrant access to food benefits and the latest information on the Nutrition Title of the (now expired) Farm Bill, specifically SNAP and TEFAP components.
Urban Food Policy Forum: Reducing Harmful Corporate Influences on Diet-related Non-Communicable Diseases: Lessons from the United Nations/WHO Global Initiatives
The Third United Nations High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) will take place in New York City at the end of September. Its goal is to review progress made since the first meeting in 2011 and to consider goals for the coming years. To mark this event and to consider its implications for food policy in New York and elsewhere, the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute invites you to its September Urban Food Policy Forum.
In this session, we will explore how two middle income countries, South Africa and Mexico, have responded to the changing global food system. Speakers will describe the role of global and national food industries in changing the diet and health of people in these countries, with a particular focus on recent rises in non-communicable diet-related diseases. They will also examine some of the ways that governments and civil society organizations have responded to the public health challenges posed by the rise of highly processed foods in South Africa and Mexico.
With ongoing changes in the political landscape, many people are concerned with food security and how current and potential policy proposals could affect their family and community. On May 17th, the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute will explore the current state of federal, state, and city food security policy by discussing threats and opportunities.
Many New Yorkers have experienced gentrification, the influx of affluent people into low- and moderate-income neighborhoods that often results in residential displacement and profound changes to a community’s racial and ethnic composition, culture, and commerce. On March 29th, the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute will explore the causes and effects of gentrification on local food environments and strategies to ensure access to affordable, healthy food.
In this session, key New York City food policy makers will discuss how food policy governance works in New York City and what has changed in the last decade.
Urban Food Policy Forum: Food System Issues and Challenges in the US and China in the Trump and Xi Jinping Era
The US and China are witnessing challenges to their dominant (and evolving) food systems. How those challenges are able to influence how, where, and what we eat in light of the issues associated with their food systems is the subject of this talk by Robert Gottlieb.
Calorie or food labeling, misleading food advertising, taxes on sugary beverages, eligibility requirements for public food benefits—all these and more are food policy debates that have reached the court room for resolution. Food and nutrition advocates, government officials and the food industry have each used litigation to advance their food policy objectives. This panel discussion will explore the advantages and disadvantages of litigation as a strategy for policy change and promoting food equity.
This forum focuses on current and future issues facing food workers, particularly those in cities, in the context of changes to the worker/employer relationship brought about by technological advances like increased automation, peer to peer transactions through sharing economy apps like Uber, high-tech urban agriculture, and online meal delivery services. Utilizing food jobs as a lens, we’ll explore how a range of industries continue to evolve as a result of changes in technology and the city, state and federal policies that encourage technological advances.
Farmers in Upstate New York provide downstate markets with a wide range of agricultural products. Yet there is still enormous potential for growth. By strengthening the linkages between the two regions New York can become a model for values-driven local food procurement. The CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute is hosting a forum to explore some of the work already moving us in this direction and discuss the opportunities and challenges of expanding regional food procurement and consumption.
Urban Food Policy Forum: Evaluating Community Food Programs: What do we know? What do we still need to learn?
Evaluation: Funders demand it, policy makers use it, agency directors want it, front-line staff sometimes resent it, and too often community residents gain nothing from it. Many of the community food programs implemented in New York City in recent years have been evaluated but it’s sometimes been a challenge to translate findings into more effective practice. In this session, panelists engaged at various levels in the evaluation of community food programs will discuss these questions:
Urban Food Policy Forum: New Opportunities for Improving Food within New York City Housing Authority Communities
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is the largest public housing authority in North America, representing 8.1 percent of New York City’s rental apartments and housing 4.7 percent of our city’s population. To many planners and health advocates, the NYCHA community is well-positioned for food innovation, which has led to the development of several public/private initiatives encompassing urban agriculture, good food entrepreneurship, and increased quality and quantity of food retail outlets.
Food related issues touch nearly every aspect of our society including the economy, health, transportation, and land and water use. Urban planners analyze these sectors in order to achieve strategic, policy, and sustainability goals with the intent of making cities work more effectively. With food playing such a pivotal role in the life of cities, planners are increasingly looked upon to take more of a central and active part in shaping the urban food environment. This forum looks at ways this is happening in New York City as illustrated by the recently released Five Borough Food Flow report and the upcoming Fourth Regional Plan.
What will be the impact of the election outcome on SNAP and Child Nutrition? The Republican Party, soon to control both houses of Congress, has long called for block-granting ofSNAP, and has recently proposed several troubling changes in School Food programs. How can New Yorkers prepare to defend these crucial components of our social safety net?
Join the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at Lehman College to continue the dialogue around immigrant inclusion as we aim to create an opportunity for education and policy advocacy to increase access to SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), WIC, and school food. Our hope for this forum is to bring together a strong coalition of immigrant and food security advocates that will contribute to the conversation in order to set policy goals that will improve lives of immigrants and contribute to a stronger progressive moment in NYC.
Urban Food Policy Forum: Beyond the Kale: Urban Agriculture and Social Justice Activism in New York City
In their new book, Beyond the Kale: Urban Agriculture and Social Justice Activism in New York City, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute Research Director Nevin Cohen and Professor of Environmental Studies and Food Studies at the New School Kristin Reynolds illustrate how some urban farmers and gardeners not only grow healthy food for their communities but also use their activities and spaces to disrupt the dynamics of power and privilege that perpetuate inequity. Beyond the Kale argues that urban agricultural projects focused explicitly on dismantling oppressive systems have the greatest potential to achieve substantive social change.
This session will analyze trends in food marketing and consider policy responses to reduce exposure to unhealthy food marketing. Among the questions to be considered are: How has the rise of new media technologies changed food marketing? How have food industries targeted unhealthy food marketing to Black and Latino communities and young people? What lessons can we learn from tobacco countermarketing to combat the aggressive marketing of unhealthy food? What legal strategies are available to limit food marketing in various settings? What else can New York City do to empower and protect vulnerable communities from unhealthy food marketing?