Congratulations to the individuals, organizations and coalitions recognized at this year’s Food Day 2015 event: Food Equity in Action.
ISSUE: URBAN AGRICULTURE
Presented by: Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (Supervisorial District 2)
The Empowerment Congress Environmental Committee comprehensively addresses environmental concerns and opportunities in the Second Supervisorial District, particularly in the areas of environmental justice, water and energy efficiency, and access to healthy food and green spaces.
The Environmental Committee’s work to make Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones a reality in the County of Los Angeles has opened the doors for our communities to come together to grow their own food. This opportunity is especially beneficial for communities that currently do not have easy access to healthy, fresh, and affordable produce.
Presented by: Councilmember Curren Price (Council District 9)
Since 2002, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANLT) has created urban parks and gardens in the Los Angeles region. Using a community-based process, strategic partnerships and land acquisition, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust is steadily and ambitiously working to address the unfair disparity of access to open space and its negative impacts on the region’s low-income communities.
The Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust works with residents in low-income communities to develop green space for community-based agriculture, making growing and eating healthy food an option for residents and establishing community spaces where relationships can flourish. With 10 community garden projects completed and more on the horizon, LANLT is making an incredible impact on the food system in Los Angeles.
Presented by: Councilmember Felipe Fuentes (Council District 7)
For the past eight years, Steve List has been a horticulture teacher at Sylmar High School. Steve is also president of the San Fernando Valley chapter of the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers and was nominated for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Angeleno of the Year award in 2014.
Steve’s work providing educational opportunities for students to learn urban agriculture, nutrition, and landscaping with edible plants has made the Sylmar High School garden a special place for students, teachers and the broader community. Together with his students, Steve works to create and distribute elevated garden beds and collaborates local social services agencies to help low-income families grow their own food.
ISSUE: ACCESSIBLE FARMER’S MARKETS
Presented by: Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti
Jackie Sauceda-Rivera is a champion of bringing healthy food to communities throughout Los Angeles. Through her work at SEE-LA, she oversees the management of farmers markets from Glassell Park to South Los Angeles and beyond. As Director of Programs at SEE-LA, Jackie has worked tirelessly to support farmers markets in diverse Los Angeles communities, managing a team to fulfill SEE-LA’s mission – to build sustainable food systems and promote improved fresh food access that will benefit low-to-moderate income residents of Los Angeles County while also supporting California small farms and mid-size farms.
Additionally, Jackie has worked to provide EBT access at farmers markets in Los Angeles, paving the way for individuals and families to access healthy, fresh and affordable produce and providing farmers with direct-to-consumer business opportunities. She is also the Chair of the Farmers Markets for All Working Group of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, where she works for policies that promote accessible farmers markets.
Presented by: Office of Mayor Garcetti
Hunger Action Los Angeles (HALA) works to end hunger and promote healthy eating through advocacy, direct service, and organizing. Hunger Action LA manages the Market Match program for Los Angeles County, with support from First 5 LA, at 18 farmers markets, providing free coupons to low-income individuals and families to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets. Market match provide a dollar-for-dollar match for CalFresh recipients who use their EBT card at farmers makers, which has stimulated increased spending of public benefits on healthier food, with some markets reporting increased CalFresh spending of 15% to 40% from 2012 to 2013. Over 6,000 Angelenos have been served by the program since 2011. Hunger Action LA hosts monthly coalition meetings bringing together organizations and residents committed to lifting people out of poverty, expanding access to public benefits, fighting homelessness and ending hunger in Los Angeles.
ISSUE: FOOD WASTE AND COMPOSTING
Presented by: Councilmember Paul Koretz
Don’t Waste LA is a coalition of over 36 community, environmental, faith and labor organizations working to increase LA’s recycling and composting while cleaning up a historically dirty and dangerous industry. The Don’t Waste LA Coalition works to promote improved food waste systems and composting, resulting in better and more efficient use of our resources, less food in our landfills, and sustainable resources for urban farmers. Don’t Waste LA Coalition was a driving force of support for the City of LA’s historic new exclusive franchise system for waste hauling and processing, Zero Waste LA, which passed in 2014. The new system sets high goals for reducing, recycling and composting food waste and improving labor standards for workers in the organic waste recycling industry.
Presented by: Councilmember Paul Koretz (Council District 5)
The Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation (LA SAN) is dedicated to protecting public health and the environment through programs and services. LA SAN has worked diligently with individual, community and organizational stakeholders to create the Zero Waste LA program- the most ambitious and exacting overhaul of a commercial waste and recycling system this nation has ever seen. Zero Waste LA will ensure Los Angeles achieves 90% diversion from landfills by 2025; and given that food accounts for a large part of LA’s commercial waste stream, this system will further ensure that food is either recovered to feed people or recycled into compost or other valuable resources. The Zero Waste LA initiative will improve standards for workers in the waste and recycling industries, decrease the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, and promote composting and healthy soil building. LA SAN’s work will help to make Los Angeles a leader in responsible food waste management.
GOOD FOOD CHAMPIONS LEGACY AWARDS
Presented by: Los Angeles Food Policy Council
Good Food Champion: Lark Galloway-Gilliam
This is the first year the Los Angeles Food Policy Council has given Legacy Awards and there is no one more fitting to receive one of the first Legacy Award than a dear friend of the Food Policy Council and social justice champion, Ms. Lark Galloway-Gilliam.
In 1992, she became the founding Executive Director of Community Health Councils to address a multitude of social justice issues in South Los Angeles. Until her passing in 2014, she spent 22 years working with passion and dedication to address inequitable health conditions across a range of issues affecting the South Los Angeles community. Her work spanned many issues and we are here to honor her efforts to bring an equitable food environment to South Los Angeles in the face of deleterious health consequences due to a lack of healthy food options and a proliferation of fast food restaurants. She was a strong leader in the fight to increase healthy food access in South Los Angeles, securing millions of dollars in funding to study the issue and develop solutions. She was a decisive and strong figure in getting the City to adopt a moratorium on new fast food restaurant construction and she worked to get grocery stores built in South Los Angeles neighborhoods.
There is no way to capture the legacy of a multi-dimensional woman who had such an impact on the diversity of issues affecting the South LA community, but we hope that the Legacy Award to Ms. Galloway-Gilliam is a reminder of what true community-based, social justice, food-focused work can accomplish. We hold Ms. Galloway-Gilliam’s spirit in our hearts as we continue to fight on the very same issues and look to her legacy as an inspiration for those who are fighting to see a Good Food system for all– representing the true meaning of Food Equity in Action.
Presented by: Los Angeles Food Policy Council
Throughout its history, the City of Los Angeles has rendered numerous updates to the General Plan, which provides a long-range vision for how the City will grow and develop. However, before now, none has included a health and wellness component to address how the city works to improve the health of its residents. The Plan for a Healthy LA is the first of its kind in the City of LA and would not have been completed without the leadership and passion that the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning, led by Director Michael LoGrande.
Through significant community stakeholder engagement, advisory committees, and collaboration with City departments, foundations, and consultant partners, the Department of City Planning worked to analyze data and information, provide city and neighborhood health profiles, create tools available online to the general public and develop a comprehensive plan to lay the blueprint for a healthy Los Angeles. The Plan specifically prioritizes an equity lens through which the City can consider addressing significant health disparities. For example, the Health Atlas created by the Plan for a Healthy LA team found a 12 year life expectancy difference between residents of Watts compared to those of Bel Air. Within the Plan, food access and equity issues are also deeply considered and addressed as an integral part of a healthy City. The Los Angeles Food Policy Council looks forward to continuing to work with the Department to bring the many important visions, recommendations and strategies to life to improve the quality and longevity of life for Angelenos.