Calling all eaters: Food Day is October 24th, 2011

Food Day is national grassroots campaign seeking to build momentum for a healthy, sustainable and equitable food system in all communities. For Rhode Island, the idea to launch a Food Day on home soil was born out of the realization that although there are a lot of on the ground initiatives around local food, there is a lack of high-level coordination around the food system as a whole.

October 24th will be the official launch date of the newly formed Rhode Island Food Policy Council (RIFPC). This past year, Southside Community Land Trust has partnered with several local and state agencies such as GrowSmart RI, the Environmental Justice League, the URI Center for Hunger, Brown University, DEM Division of Agriculture and the RI Community Food Bank to embark on a planning process to form the RIFPC.

What is the RI Food Policy Council? “The mission of the council is to strengthen local agriculture and fisheries and find ways to connect that home-grown food to low income communities across Rhode Island,” says Leo Pollock, SCLT’s Program Director.

So what does the RIFPC mean for Rhode Island?

As a Rhode Islander or someone who enjoys eating food that is grown in Rhode Island, the Food Policy Council will act as a policy-changing force to ensure that:
– Food and local agriculture are recognized as important parts of the state’s economy;
– New funding is being brought into the state to strengthen all parts of the food system, from plant to plate;
– Policy changes are being implemented at the State level to make local food more affordable and available to people of all income levels in our state.

In addition to laying out the mission, vision and logistics of the Food Council, the planning committee will debut a state food assessment. This assessment explores in detail the intersection of economics and food access, with a goal of strengthening the food system and strategizing to increase access to all communities of Rhode Island. Food Day events will be all day on Monday, October 24th. The launch will begin at 10am at the State House’s State Room and continue at 4pm at the URI Providence downtown campus on Washington Street for a public community presentation of the state food assessment and discussion. For more up-to-date information, visit the Food Day Facebook page.

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