In this month’s newsletter, the Food Systems Network NYC published an “Open Letter on Food to His Honor, Mayor Bill de Blasio” from the Network’s co-chair, Ed Yowell and me, reaching out to New York City’s new mayor and introducing him to his new food constituency. We wrote this as part of our food policy outreach and advocacy around the Recipe for the Future of Food in New York City, the Network’s vision for food systems change. The Recipe outlines key ingredients for improving New York’s food system and “offers our city’s food communities—anti-hunger, health, agriculture, distribution, labor, and eaters— the opportunity to engage in cooking up a better food system through conversation, collaboration, and advocacy that will inspire our city’s leaders to act, beginning with mayoral candidates.”
Here’s an excerpt with a link to the full letter:
Dear Mayor de Blasio,
Food Systems Network NYC congratulates you and wishes you good luck and good works. We take this opportunity to introduce you to your food constituency: New Yorkers who grow, process, distribute, sell, prepare, and, of course, eat food.
As the mayoral campaign highlighted, more New Yorkers than ever before are concerned about our food system, and for good reasons: 2.6 million New Yorkers struggle to feed themselves; 60 percent of adults and more than 33 percent of children in New York City are obese or overweight and over 10 percent have diabetes; the equivalent of one farm in the New York foodshed is lost to development every three and a half days; and food industry workers earn low wages, lack benefits, suffer wage theft, and rely disproportionately on public assistance programs, ironically, including food stamps. These grim statistics point to the need for serious improvement.
– Read the full letter here.