On October 27, 2016, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute held its first Youth Countermarketing Convening which brought together organizations, groups, and individuals across NYC that lead youth food justice programs and/or that are interested in creating or expanding youth food countermarketing work. Organizations represented at the meeting include: Children’s Aid Society, FoodCorps, Community Food Advocates, GrowNYC, City Harvest, Bronx Health Reach, New Settlement, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Most observers of the 2016 election would agree that to date food and food policy has not been a front burner issue. But are there other top tier election issues that could provide an opening for food advocates—climate change and energy policy, trade policy, income inequality and minimum wage, the role of government in safety net programs? Can food activists use the distrust of corporations by many of Bernie Sanders supporters and some of Donald Trump’s followers to focus on the role of Big Food in health and hunger? Can the threats to democracy that “dark money”, campaign contributions and PACs pose enlist food and other activists to join the fight for campaign finance reform? On June 7, the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute sponsored a forum on Food and the 2016 Election to consider these and other questions.