77th Annual Meeting

HOMEGROWN LOCAL FOOD - EXPANDING ACCESS AND AVAILABILITY

WHEREAS, cities across America are increasingly focused on providing equitable food supplies for their citizens; and

WHEREAS, a local food system can support small farms and local jobs, create business opportunities and encourage the recirculation of financial capital within a city; and

WHEREAS, local foods are typically fresher and healthier than industrial farm products; and

WHEREAS, the ability to grow, sell, and easily obtain a consistent, adequate supply of fresh, local foods can empower families and communities to be more self-sufficient in times of economic and environmental hardship; and

WHEREAS, buying local food can improve air quality and pollution by reducing the amount of transportation and packaging required to bring our food from farm to table; and

WHEREAS, urban populations often suffer higher levels of obesity and other chronic diseases from lack of access to affordable,healthy foods; and

WHEREAS, the growing Local Food movement has awakened a new interest in developing partnerships between cities and local growers; and

WHEREAS, a number of major cities are developing local food policies that encourage community gardens and other forms of urban agriculture within city limits; and

WHEREAS, the First Lady Michelle Obama has raised the profile of developing affordable, sustainable food supplies for urban America by tilling the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden during World War II;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon the Obama Administration to seek out partnerships with Mayors on Local Food initiatives to develop strategies that help urban America develop better access to quality food,including:

  • supporting the efforts to allow geographic preferences in local procurement;

  • expanding food stamp access at farmers markets;

  • including urban agriculture in green jobs strategies;

  • increasing consumer education on the benefits of local food; and

  • other strategies that help build the knowledge of,interest in, demand for, and access to local food in urban communities.