Moving Toward Good Food for All in Los Angeles
Photo: Haan-Fawn Chau
Members of the LA Food Policy Council Leadership Board, network, and staff celebrate a successful Food Day with Councilmembers Fuentes, Koretz, Martinez, O'Farrell, and Price.
There is a revolution underway in Los Angeles, and it's transforming how we grow, get, buy and eat food. At the helm of this massive sea change is the Los Angeles Food Policy Council.
A project of Community Partners, LAFPC is the backbone of a diverse network of stakeholders, innovative new ideas, and policies that are being collectively designed and advanced to build a food system that is healthy, affordable, fair, and sustainable for all Angelenos.
According to Alexa Delwiche, coordinator of the LAFPC, changing our massive food system requires more than just one organization or policy. "We see ourselves as a collective impact initiative. We bring together government, nonprofits, the private sector -- including farmers and restaurant owners -- to break down silos and cut across sectors to think of innovative ways to change our food system."
Recently the Council and its members, along with City Council officials, came together to celebrate Food Day 2013, applaud the progress of the Good Food Purchasing Pledge and express their support for the advancement of several urban agriculture policies such as eliminating citations for food grown on parkways and reduced water rates for nonprofit community garden programs.
As a result of adopting the LAFPC's Good Food Purchasing Pledge, LAUSD and the City of Los Angeles have modified their food service practices and significantly increased the purchase of locally-sourced food. In just one year, LAUSD has bought 70 percent of its produce locally and has done so at no additional cost to the district.
According to Delwiche, Los Angeles is leading the nation with its Good Food Purchasing Pledge. As it begins a scan and evaluation of food policy councils around the country, she notes, "the University of Wisconsin - Madison has identified Los Angeles a leader and selected the pledge as what good food policy is all about." The goal of the pledge is to promote a good food system that values and supports the local economy, sustainable production, a fairly treated workforce, animal welfare, and nutrition.
LAFPC also released its Los Angeles Food System Snapshot, a report providing baseline information and data on the current state of the Los Angeles regional foodshed and a way for the Council to track progress over time.
Now entering her fourth year with the project, Delwiche appreciates the role Community Partners plays in supporting a growing and maturing collective impact initiative. "Community Partners provides us robust systems to support our growing staff and has given us great strategic guidance in organizational, grant, and budget development."