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Food Policy in the Post-Bloomberg Era

December 8, 2013

Wagner Food Policy Alliance had the opportunity to hold a panel and participant discussion on “The Future of Food Policy in the Post-Bloomberg Era” as a part of the Talking Transition initiative. Food policy advocates and superstars Janet Poppendieck from the NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College; Joel Berg from the NYC Campaign Against Hunger; Diana Robinson of the Food Chain Workers Alliance; Kady Ferguson of Brooklyn Food Coalition; and Raymond Figueroa-Reyes, Jr., President of the New York City Community Garden Coalition discussed the needs for their organizations. After their brief introductions, the panelists and Just Food’s trained facilitators helped guide breakout sessions with the hundreds of attendees. Members of the audience proposed 16 different subjects and groups met to discuss the problem on a community level, policy level, and program level. Topics ranged from poverty to food access to universal school lunches to composting to fraccing. Participants brainstormed ideas that fit their communities and then compiled all of them for a short presentation at the end to the general audience. Afterwards, the notes from all of the discussions were compiled and presented as recommendations for the New York City Food System to Mayor Elect de Blasio.

Technology has made it so easy to convey ideas and facilitate conversation. For this event, it made the hopes and dreams of the public transparent. The experts provided support, experiential knowledge, and academic knowledge to assist the active gather ideas and propose policies to improve the way our city views and consumes food. But it was the audience members that suggested the topics, shared personal stories and experiences, and thought of realistic and practical suggestions for New York City’s food system. It was clear, practical, logical, and engaging. We all saw the process, understood it, talked it out, and presented. Simple, efficient, and transparent. Now we have to wait and hope our ideas are internalize. Then we can begin the process to change our food system and the way we view food. But it started with the people. — Amy Black

For more information on “The Future of Food Policy in the Post-Bloomberg Era,” please check these articles at Serious Eats:New York & The Huffington Post.

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