Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 20 - Buffalo Food Policy Summit

Tuesday night at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Allentown in Buffalo, NY; UB co-sponsored a community public forum called, “Economic Development and the Food System: Ideas for the Future,” as part of the larger Buffalo Food Policy Summit. As a smaller part of the Inauguration Week's daily theme, “Creating a Vibrant and Healthy Community”, this forum highlighted the important role of the local food system in promoting economic development and health in Buffalo, NY. It featured experts in the field of food security and food justice in a discussion of how the pursuit of these goals can provoke economic development in Buffalo, as it has in communities across the country.

It was sponsored by the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab, UB School of Architecture and Planning; Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities-Buffalo; Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County; Grassroots Gardens; Massachusetts Avenue Project; New York Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NYSAWG); UB2020 Civic Engagement and Public Policy Research Initiative. It was funded by the Community Foundation for a Greater Buffalo, with support from the UB Civic Engagement and Public Policy Research Initiative.

I was particularly impressed by the remarks made by Heather Wooten, a Public Health Law Policy Maker from Oakland, California and Mark Winne, an author and Community Food Security Coalition expert from Portland, Oregon. They both impressed upon the importance of wholesome communication between the multiple agencies, organizations, and advocates as well as going after more of the grant monies that are available through more than 273 Federal Agricultural Grants.

I was very inspired hearing them give their ideas and meeting with other food advocates and enthusiasts. I wonder where it will lead me....

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