Update on Food Almanac 2014: An Evening of Food Policy Prognostications

Food Almanac 2014, Food Systems Network NYCnetwork’s annual food policy and fundraising event was held on February 12, 2014 at the Centre for Social Innovation in Chelsea. Moderated by Dr. Nevin Cohen, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at The New School, the panelists looked back on the past year’s food system achievements and looked forward to the future of our city’s food system under the new administration and new City Council. Panelists included:

    • Dennis Derryck, (Professor of Professional Practice, The New School and Founder and President, Corbin Hill Foodshare Project)
    • Raymond Figueroa, (President, NYC Community Gardening Coalition, Urban Farmer and Activist)
    • Shira Gans, former Food Policy Analyst for Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer & Leadership Committee Member and Program Committee Co-Chair, Food Systems Network NYC)
    • Mark Izeman, (Director, New York Urban Program and Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council)
    • Diana Robinson, (Campaign & Education Coordinator, Food Chain Workers Alliance)
    • Triada Stampas, (Senior Director of Government Relations, Food Bank For New York City)
Mary Cleaver, of Cleaver Co. kicking off the panel.
Mary Cleaver, of Cleaver Co. kicking off the panel.

Below is an excerpt from an article I co-wrote for the Network’s newsletter and Web site, reporting on the Almanac and the panelist’s predictions.

Food Almanac 2014: An Evening of Food Policy Prognostications
by Francisca Sanhueza and Carolyn Zezima

As our city launches on a new era of government, with the first new mayoral transition in 12 years, many food advocates and organizations have been wondering, with some degree of hope and optimism, what the change in administration means for New York City, including which, if any, food policy priorities and initiatives Mayor de Blasio’s administration will continue from the Bloomberg era and what new priorities he will champion. With this backdrop of anticipation, last month’s Food Almanac 2014, the annual food policy prognostication event hosted by Food Systems Network NYC was unlike any of the previous three Almanacs. Over 100 food-loving advocates gathered at the at the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) to enjoy local food, wine and beer, and hear a panel of six food policy experts share their hopes and predictions for the future of New York City’s food system under Mayor de Blasio.

Read the full story, with event photos and a full transcript of the moderator and audience questions and the panelists answers, at Food Systems NYC Web site

The panel was followed with a light supper from Cleaver Co., including a soothing and flavorful vegetarian Pozole Verde (For Cleaver Co.’s Pozole and salsa recipes from the event, click here).

Dennis Derryck“There is a vocabulary left out all the time, and one of the things that we are talking about is ‘community building.’ If we are not going to talk about community building, which is one of our value propositions as a non-profit at Corbin Hill,  then I think we’ve really missed a vote. [Y]ou can donate, you can give, you can do anything you want, but you are just simply treating folks as  subjects. They are no longer citizens in this community. And when they don’t come out to vote, when they don’t come to meetings like this one, or anything, ask yourself: ‘Why?’ You’ve never built a community, or put the effort to build a community around food… and to us at Corbin Hill, it’s the biggest challenge.” Dennis Derrick, Corbin Hill Foodshare Project.

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