LAFPC March Network: The State of the Food Desert

MarchNetwork-SavetheDate (2)


Join us on Friday March 24th at Phoenix Hall at The Center in Watts for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council’s March Network Event—The State of the “Food Desert”: Redefining, Reimagining and Reclaiming Healthy Food Access in LA’s Historically Underserved Communities.

We’ll review healthy food access in Los Angeles from past to present to better understand the problems and systemic causes of “food desert” conditions, solutions for addressing them and the best measures of success. We’ll hear from experts working in food justice as well as community voices most impacted by disparities to identify relevant solutions and build our collective vision for achieving food equity in the city. Through collaborative discussions on diverse topics impacting food access disparities, we’ll develop a policy platform that will serve as a blueprint to inform the food movement in Los Angeles over the next few years.

Tentative Schedule:

2:00pm | Registration
2:30pm | Opening Remarks + Presentation: State of Food Access
3:20 pm | Community Voices Panel + Collaboration
5:30pm – 7pm | Networking & Book Signing

*Free parking available on site.

**The event is wheelchair accessible.

Panelists include:

Breakout groups: 

  • Business and Economic Development in Healthy Food Retail – What are the economic opportunities associated with increasing healthy food access in communities of need? What barriers continue to exist for healthy food retail in these communities? What priority action areas should take place to address these prevailing barriers?
  • Alternative Food Systems – More communities are recognizing the power of strategies such as urban agriculture, food cooperatives, food hubs, farmers markets and pop-up markets in overcoming disparities in food access. However, not all communities have equal access to quality resources– such as clean soil and water– to effectively embark on some of these endeavors. How can the visibility of equity issues present in alternative food system models be uplifted in the movement? What are some equity-centered approaches to alternative food systems that have yet to be adequately explored or implemented?
  • Hunger and Food Insecurity – One of the most consequential outcomes of inequitable food access is food insecurity, the inability to access enough food to meet one’s nutritional needs. Food insecurity bridges issues of poverty, racism, homelessness and other social injustices with food. What are the key challenges impacting food security in Los Angeles? How can the food movement work together to address them?
  • Healthy Development without Displacement – While healthy food options such as grocery stores, community gardens and healthy restaurants have positive impacts on communities—more neighborhoods are associating the growth of these amenities with gentrification and displacement. What food system failures contribute to these outcomes? What strategies can be employed to reduce the negative impacts of neighborhood change on vulnerable residents? Learn more here.
  • Youth Engagement and Community Organizing in the Food Justice Movement – Youth Engagement and Community Organizing in the Food Justice Movement – We cannot achieve our collective goals for the future of food access in LA without engaging youth and communities. How can we better prioritize youth and community voices throughout the food movement? What challenges do these groups still face in accessing healthy foods and what strategies should we prioritize for improving inequities in the food system?
  • Bridging Healthy Food Access and Nuisance Abatement – How can we better leverage existing community resources to increase healthy food access while simultaneously addressing other pertinent community concerns? Liquor stores are prevalent in communities of need. What strategies can be employed to transform these nuisances into community assets? SAAFE (Safe Access to Alcohol and Food Establishments) is a County initiative to update conditions for permitting liquor stores in unincorporated LA County by including requirements for selling healthy food. How can the City of LA build on this precedent?


Thank you to our partners!

PolicyLink, Watts Labor Community Action Center, Social Justice Learning Institute, Prevention Institute, Community Coalition, Social Model Recovery, Community Health Councils, Peace 4 Kids, Chef Bryce, Avivar Capital, LA Community Action Network, Collaborative for Urban Agroecology LA, Hunger Action Los Angeles, Everytable, American Friends Service Committee, LURN, APIOPA, UPROXX