Overview of Food System Issues

Good Food Economy

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Improving the market for good food in the Los Angeles region goes hand-in-hand with local economic development and the creation of good jobs. Just as the availability of good food can enhance the health of a neighborhood, a vibrant local economy and gainful employment can do much to foster a thriving community. Economic development projects range in size and scope. Attracting full-scale grocery stores to underserved neighborhoods, coupled with local hiring, can provide desperately needed jobs in communities, while increasing access to healthy foods. Efforts are being made to attract more good food businesses into underserved parts of the city. Other initiatives are smaller scale, but community based and rooted in neighborhood assets. Various organizations have made a point of incorporating food advocacy into projects based on community needs. Their activities range from neighborhood food access and transportation projects, to development of local food business incubators, to hosting nutrition and cooking education. Some are incorporating food gardens, community-supported agriculture (CSAs), farmers markets, or community kitchens into affordable housing developments.

Agriculture & Land Based Training Association (ALBA)
http://www.albafarmers.org/
Alliance for Communities for Sustainable Fisheries
http://www.alliancefisheries.com/
Alliance for Healthy and Responsible Grocery Stores
http://www.goodgrocerystores.org/
American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees (AFSMCE)
http://www.afscme.org/
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
http://www.aft.org
Asociación de Loncheros L.A. Familia Unida de California
http://www.loncheros.com/
Building a Healthy Boyle Heights Collaborative
www.mycalconnect.org
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)
http://www.livingeconomies.org/
Business Resource Group
http://www.bizresourcegroup.com/
California Alliance for Family Farmers (CAFF)
http://caff.org/
California Black Women’s Health Project
http://www.cabwhp.org/
California Community Foundation
https://www.calfund.org/
California Department of Food & Agriculture
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/
California FreshWorks Fund
 http://www.cafreshworks.com/
California Hunger Action Coalition
www.hungeraction.net
California Lobster and Trap Fishermen’s Association
http://www.cltfa.com/
California Wetfish Producers Association
www.californiawetfish.org
Careers Through the Culinary Arts Professionals
www.ccapinc.org
Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment (CRPE)
http://www.crpe-ej.org/crpe/
City of Los Angeles – Community Development Department
http://www.ci.la.ca.us/cdd/
City of Los Angeles- Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA/LA)
http://www.crala.org/
City of Los Angeles- Department of Neighborhood Empowerment
http://done.lacity.org/dnn/
CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice)
http://www.cluela.org/
Coalition for Humane Immigrants Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
http://www.chirla.org/
Coastal Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)
www.coastalalliance.com
Community Coalition
http://www.cocosouthla.org/
Community Financial Resource Center (CFRC)
http://cfrcla.org/
Community Market Conversion (CMC)
communitymarketconversion.org
Community Services Unlimited, Inc. (CSU)
http://www.csuinc.org/
Earthworks Farm
East LA Community Corporation (ELACC)
http://www.elacc.org/
Esperanza Community Housing Corporation/Mercado de la Paloma
www.esperanzacommunityhousing.org
FAME Assistance Corporation
www.famerenaissance.org
Farmer Veteran Coalition
http://www.farmvetco.org/
Food Industry Business Roundtable
http://www.fibr.info/
Green LA Coalition
http://greenlacoalition.org/
International Longshoremen’s Association
http://www.ilaunion.org/
Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance
http://www.kiwa.org/
LA Conservation Corps
http://www.lacorps.org/
LA River Revitalization Corporation
http://thelariver.com/revitalization/
LA Voice/PICO 
www.lavoicepico.org
Legal Aid Foundation Los Angeles
http://www.lafla.org/
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
http://www.lisc.org/
Long Beach Building Healthy Communities
www.mycalconnect.org
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)
http://www.laane.org/
Los Angeles Black Worker Center/UCLA Labor Center
http://www.labor.ucla.edu/index.html
Los Angeles Community College District
http://www.laccd.edu/
Los Angeles County Federation of Labor
http://www.launionaflcio.org/
Los Angeles Trade Tech Culinary Arts Program
wellness.lattc.edu/culinary/
Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF)
http://www.liifund.org/
Mia Lehrer Associates
http://mlagreen.com/
Restaurant Opportunities Center- Los Angeles
http://rocunited.org/la/
Salvation Army- Bell Shelter
http://grow-good.org/
Santa Monica Farmers’ Market
www.smgov.net
Service Employees International Union
http://www.seiu.org/
Small Manufacturers Association of California
www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org
Social Justice Learning Institute
http://www.sjli-cp.org/
South East Asian Community Alliance (SEACA)
http://www.seaca-la.org/
South LA Building Healthy Communities
www.mycalconnect.org
St. Joseph Center / Bread and Roses Café 
www.stjosephctr.org
Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAGE)
www.saje.net
Sustainable Agricuture and Food Systems Funders
http://www.safsf.org/index.asp
Sustainable Economic Enterprises- Los Angeles (SEE-LA)
http://www.see-la.org/
Teamsters Local 630
http://www.teamsters630.org/
Thai Community Development Center of Los Angeles
http://thaicdchome.org/cms/
The California Endowment
http://www.calendow.org/
The Growing Experience- Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles
www3.lacdc.org/CDCWebsite/
The Public Immigrant Policies Institute of Los Angeles
Timbuktu Resource
timbukturesourcecenter.org
Ujima Farming Group
http://ujimafarminggroup.org/
United Farm Workers
http://www.ufw.org/
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770
http://ufcw770.org/
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)- Rural Development
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Home.html
UNITE-HERE Local 2
http://www.unitehere.org/fs/
Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College
http://departments.oxy.edu/uepi/
USC School of Policy, Planning and Development
http://www.usc.edu/schools/sppd/
USC-Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism
http://annenberg.usc.edu/
Volunteers of East Los Angeles (VELA)
http://www.velaela.org/
Warehouse Workers United
www.warehouseworkersunited.org
Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC)
http://www.wlcac.org/
WE CAN
Women Organizing Resources, Knowledge, and Services (W.O.R.K.S.)
http://www.worksusa.org/
Youth Speak! Collective
youthspeakcollective.wordpress.com
Zion Temple Church
http://ziontemplechurch.org/
FOOD DISTRIBUTION & FOOD HUBS

Improvements to food distribution and infrastructure systems in Los Angeles would make it easier to sell and purchase good food. Facilities and business networks geared towards small- to mid-level sustainable farmers (such as regional food hubs) would allow local growers to take advantage of economies of scale and thus increase Angelenos’ access to local foods. Additionally, measures to ensure a more transparent food economy will give buyers and consumers an opportunity to make informed food choices. The institutions working to improve the distribution network for good food have taken on projects such as analyzing the agricultural supply and the market demand for local produce, encouraging existing food distribution businesses and food service providers to work with local farmers and to carry and serve more locally-grown products, and investigating possibilities for the creation of a Los Angeles Regional Food Hub

California Alliance for Family Farmers (CAFF)
http://caff.org/
City of Los Angeles- Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA/LA)
http://www.crala.org/
Community Services Unlimited, Inc.
http://www.csuinc.org/
Farmers’ Market Recovery Program
Farmworks LA
Foodbank of Southern California
www.foodbankofsocal.org
FreshPoint Southern California
http://www.freshpoint.com/
LA River Revitalization Corporation
http://thelariver.com/revitalization/
Los Angeles Regional Foodbank
http://www.lafoodbank.org/
Mia Lehrer Associates
http://mlagreen.com/
Osborn Architects
http://www.osborn320.com/
Salvation Army- Bell Shelter
http://grow-good.org/?page_id=50
Santa Monica Farmers’ Market
www.smgov.net
Social Justice Learning Institute
http://www.sjli-cp.org/
Sustainable Economic Enterprises- Los Angeles (SEE-LA)
http://www.see-la.org/
Teamsters Local 630
http://www.teamsters630.org/
Thai Community Development Center of Los Angeles
http://thaicdchome.org/cms/
Unified Grocers
www.unifiedgrocers.com
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)- Rural Development
hwww.rurdev.usda.gov
Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College
http://departments.oxy.edu/uepi/
West Central Produce
www.westcentralproduce.com
Whittier College
http://www.whittier.edu/
Wholesome Wave Foundation
http://wholesomewave.org/
Woodbury University
www.woodbury.edu
GOOD FOOD PROCUREMENT

Changing institutional food procurement policies is important to increasing the overall demand for good food in the Los Angeles area. Over time, good food purchases—from both large and small institutions—can add up to significant investments in a sustainable regional food system. Moreover, when schools, hospitals, restaurants, businesses and government institutions commit to serving healthy, local food at their establishments, it supports the well-being of its students, patients, employees, and customers. A number of Good Food organizations work closely with institutions to incorporate local, sustainable produce into their menus and to rethink institutional food procurement policies. “Farm-to-school” initiatives have been especially successful. Additionally, some organizations, such as Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, have focused their efforts on updating government purchasing guidelines in order to support healthy, locally-grown products. A common task that ties all of these groups together is that they must work with their constituents to clarify the definition and criteria for “good food” and to develop model language for institutional bids and contracts. Having a common definition for good food will ensure a mutual understanding between farmers, distributors, retailers and consumers. Restaurants play a critical role in building a sustainable food system. Because of their independent nature, restaurants often have the flexibility in where they source and how they purchase foods. Restaurants are innovators and trailblazers in sourcing Good Food, especially in the City of Los Angeles. The leadership of many in the restaurant industry has increased consumer awareness of the detrimental impacts of our current industrial food system and fueled consumer demand for Good Food. As more restaurants join and build the market for Good Food, they help strengthen the regional food infrastructure, thus making it easier for other institutions to participate and support Good Food as well.

California Alliance for Family Farmers (CAFF)
http://caff.org/
California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA)
http://cfpa.net/
City of Los Angeles- Bureau of Sanitation, Department of Public Works
http://www.lacitysan.org/
City of Los Angeles- Department of Aging
http://aging.lacity.org/
City of Los Angeles- Recreation & Parks Department
http://www.laparks.org/
Coosemans Shipping
www.coosemans.com
Fair Trade Los Angeles
http://fairtradela.org/
Food Chain Workers Alliance
http://foodchainworkers.org/
FreshPoint Southern California
http://www.freshpoint.com/
Kaiser Permanente- Southern California
info.kp.org/communitybenefit/
LA County Department of Public Health
http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/
Long Beach Unified School District- Nutrition Services
www.lbschools.net
Los Angeles Community College District
http://www.laccd.edu/
Los Angeles Unified School District- Food Services Division
http://cafe-la.lausd.net/
Real Food Challenge (California Region)
www.sustainabilitycoalition.org
RENEW LA- Program of LA County Department of Public Health
http://www.choosehealthla.com/
San Diego Unified School District- Food Services
http://sandi.net/food
Santa Monica Office of Sustainability & the Environment
www.smgov.net
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
http://www.smmusd.org/
UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services
www.sustain.ucla.edu
Unified Nutrimeals
http://www.unifiednm.com/
LABOR & WORKER JUSTICE

There are over 1.3 million food system jobs in Los Angeles regional foodshed, encompassing a 200 mile radius around the urban core. Most of those who work in food service and the larger food system do not have living wage jobs, nor do they have positions that come with benefits, job security or advancement opportunities. Competition in food industries to keep costs low makes it difficult for employers to do right by their employees without being undercut by other firms. Further, the size of most food service firms makes it nearly impossible for individual employers to improve the quality of the jobs at their establishments alone. An important priority for the Good Food movement is to find and promote opportunities for the creation of quality jobs along the entire food chain, starting with the agricultural fields and reaching all the way to retail establishments. Fair wages, decent working conditions, healthcare benefits and job security for all workers will help to ensure that the good food on your table did not come at the expense of others’ welfare.

Alliance for Healthy and Responsible Grocery Stores
www.goodgrocerystores.org
American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees (AFSMCE)
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
http://www.aft.org
Asociación de Loncheros L.A. Familia Unida de California
http://www.loncheros.com/
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
http://www.crla.org/
Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment (CRPE)
www.crpe-ej.org/crpe/
Center for the Working Poor
http://www.centerfortheworkingpoor.org/
CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice)
http://www.cluela.org/
Coalition for Humane Immigrants Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
http://www.chirla.org/
Coastal Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)
www.coastalalliance.com
Fair Trade Los Angeles
http://fairtradela.org/
Farm Worker Ministry
http://nfwm.org/
Farmworks LA
Food Chain Workers Alliance
http://foodchainworkers.org/
Homegirl Café
www.homegirlcafe.org
IKAR Food Justice Group
www.ikar-la.org/foodjustice.html
International Longshoremen’s Association
http://www.ilaunion.org/
Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance
http://www.kiwa.org/
LA Conservation Corps
http://www.lacorps.org/
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)
http://www.laane.org/
Los Angeles Black Worker Center/UCLA Labor Center 
www.labor.ucla.edu
Los Angeles County Federation of Labor
http://www.launionaflcio.org/
Progressive Jewish Alliance
http://www.pjalliance.org/
Restaurant Opportunities Center- Los Angeles
http://rocunited.org/la/
Service Employees International Union
http://www.seiu.org/
South East Asian Community Alliance (SEACA)
http://www.seaca-la.org/
Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAGE)
www.saje.net
Teamsters Local 630
http://www.teamsters630.org/
Ujima Farming Group
http://ujimafarminggroup.org/
United Farm Workers
http://www.ufw.org/
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770
http://ufcw770.org/
UNITE-HERE Local 2
http://www.unitehere.org/fs/
Volunteers of East Los Angeles (VELA)
http://www.velaela.org/
Warehouse Workers United
www.warehouseworkersunited.org
FARMERS MARKETS

The 128 farmers markets in Los Angeles County offer a host of benefits for community members and the many farmers who participate. First and foremost, a well-run farmers market gives the farmer an opportunity to make more profit than he would otherwise, and helps guarantee that the consumer will get fresher, locally-grown food. Additionally, farmers markets foster a direct connection between individual farmers, consumers and seasonal agriculture. In underserved communities that lack well-stocked supermarkets, weekly farmers markets can be a welcome opportunity to purchase fresh, affordable produce. A handful of organizations play a key role in organizing, managing, and administering most of the county’s farmers markets. These organizations may also engage in or support other sustainable food system efforts or economic development projects, as well as neighborhood-serving programs, like nutritional education and cooking classes (such as SEE-LA, and the Farmer’s Kitchen).  A number of organizations are also actively working on making farmers markets more accessible to people living in underserved communities. Their efforts include initiatives to increase the acceptance of government food assistance benefits, expanding veggie voucher programs which double the purchasing power of low-income residents, and engaging the community about these projects and encouraging residents to support their local farmers market. Currently, only 40 out of 128 farmers markets in L.A. County accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (or EBT).

 

California Alliance for Family Farmers (CAFF)
http://caff.org/
California Department of Food & Agriculture
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/
California Farmers’ Market Consortium
rootsofchange.org
California Federation of Certified Farmers’ Markets
www.cafarmersmarkets.com
California Health & Human Services Agency
www.chhs.ca.gov
City of Los Angeles- Bureau of Street Services, Department of Public Works
http://bss.lacity.org/
FAME Assistance Corporation
http://www.famerenaissance.org/
Farmers’ Market Recovery Program
Kaiser Permanente- Southern California
info.kp.org
LA County Agricultural Commissioner
http://acwm.co.la.ca.us/
LA County Department of Public Health
http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/
Model Neighborhood Program
www.lacienegafarmersmarket.com
Playa Vista Farmers’ Market
www.playavistafm.com
Raw Inspiration Inc.
www.ccfm.com
RENEW LA- Program of LA County Department of Public Health
http://www.choosehealthla.com/
Santa Monica Farmers’ Market
www.smgov.net
Sustainable Economic Enterprises- Los Angeles (SEE-LA)
http://www.see-la.org/
Sylmar Farmers Market at Los Angeles Mission College
www.sylmarfarmersmarket.com
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)- Rural Development
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Home.html
Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College
http://departments.oxy.edu/uepi/
Volunteers of East Los Angeles (VELA)
http://www.velaela.org/
Wholesome Wave Foundation
http://wholesomewave.org/
STREET FOOD

Street food helps make Los Angeles a vibrant place and a great food city. It has the potential to play a vital role in our communities by providing access to good food—food that is healthy, sustainable, fair and affordable. Realizing the potential benefits of street food is challenging in Los Angeles, where vendors are currently unable to operate legally on sidewalks and food trucks encounter parking difficulties. As a result, many vendors are marginalized, and occupy a socioeconomically and legally precarious position. In turn, consumers in Los Angeles miss out on better access to good food and are denied the assurances of purchasing food from regulated businesses. Many of the city’s poorest communities have limited access to affordable, healthy food, and that within these same neighborhoods, street vendors with carts and trucks fill the void left by the absence of mainstream grocers within the community. The following organizations are interested in a variety of issues and approaches related to street vending, such as organizing street vendors, assessing the current regulatory and policy landscape governing mobile vending in Los Angeles, and developing recommendations for legalizing and regulating more forms of healthy mobile vending, including new pilot projects.

Asociación de Loncheros L.A. Familia Unida de California
http://www.loncheros.com/
California Black Women’s Health Project
http://www.cabwhp.org/
City of Los Angeles- Bureau of Street Services, Department of Public Works
http://bss.lacity.org/
City of Los Angeles- Department of City Planning
http://cityplanning.lacity.org/
Community Financial Resource Center (CFRC)
http://cfrcla.org/
East LA Community Corporation (ELACC)
http://www.elacc.org/
Esperanza Community Housing Corporation/Mercado de la Paloma
www.esperanzacommunityhousing.org
Fork in the Road
LA County Department of Public Health
hpublichealth.lacounty.gov
Latino Urban Forum
www.latinourbanforum.com
RENEW LA- Program of LA County Department of Public Health
www.choosehealthla.com
Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association
http://socalmfva.com/
The Grilled Cheese Truck
www.thegrilledcheesetruck.com
The Public Immigrant Policies Institute of Los Angeles
Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College
http://departments.oxy.edu/uepi/