Press

Latest mentions of the Food Policy Coalition in the media.

Article by food systems expert Mark Winne that mentions the FPC:

When I want to imagine a different path, I think of Maurice Small, a middle-aged African-American who grew up in Cleveland’s housing projects. For a while he succumbed to the urban hustler’s life but grew tired of seeing the same vacant lots as an adult that he saw as a kid. He eventually redirected his hustler’s energy to lead the charge for what is now a burgeoning urban agriculture movement. With assistance from city hall, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga Food Policy Council, the nonprofit City Fresh, Oberlin College, Case Western University, and the Cleveland Clinic, Small has mobilized people and land to produce more than $2 million of food annually.

This low-budget approach is echoed in Cleveland’s corner store program, a joint effort of the city’s public health department and Case Western Reserve University.

Earlier this year, Anne Gross, who with her husband, Gary, has run the Convenient Food Mart in the city’s Near West Side for 36 years, agreed to push aside some of the candy at the front of the store and make room for two wicker baskets of fruit. The program provided colorful signs encouraging healthy eating.

It also promoted her store with events like a cooking demonstration in her parking lot with samples of banana bread, free cookbooks, and sign-ups for local cooking classes.

The result: a 20 percent increase in fruit sales this last summer. “Bananas are No. 1,” said Mrs. Gross, 65. “After that, cherries have done very well.”

A top point from today’s Cleveland-Cuyahoga Food Policy Coalition quarterly meeting is education around fresh food has and will continue to shrink ‘food deserts’ – Cleveland neighborhoods where access to fresh food is near impossible. Jenita McGowan recapped her community dialogue in four Cleveland neighborhoods where she asked residents what they consider fresh food, where they get it and why they don’t

Price, quality, choice, access to information and transportation are the big issues for people living in ‘food deserts’. Food deserts of up to five miles for inner city residents are common in urban areas across the U.S., Mark Winne, a national food rights professional and author of "Closing the Food Gap" comments in the LESS Productions film “PolyCultures” which the coalition screened one of four segments today.

To succeed, we will need to expand and amplify the existing networks in the region. We can build upon examples such as WIRE‐Net’s Great Lakes Wind Network, Corporate Sustainability Network, E4S, Cleveland‐Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition, GreenCityBlueLake, Northeast Ohio Biomimicry Action Network, and NorTech’s advanced energy initiative and other technology networks, Great Lakes Science Center’s Fresh Water Institute, neighborhood development, and other promising initiatives. In addition, there are emerging social media networks, such as localfoodcleveland.org and zerowasteneo.org. And we have a leading initiative working on the technology of networked communications, One‐Community.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Council set the table in March 2009 for a long-range vision of what it will take to grow more of our food locally (10 percent, anyone?). Some forty local food advocates were asked to dream big: They offered achievable ideas and goals for growing and selling more food grown in the city or at the metropolitan edge.

For decades, if you needed a quick bite while on the sidewalks of Cleveland, street vendors provided two options: a hot dog or a sausage, each often boiled to a remarkable level of blandness.

If you were a vegetarian, . . . well, you could eat the bun.

But soon the curbside culinary scene in Cleveland could get interesting. Very interesting...

Mr. Alsenas asked Claire Kilbane, the CPC staff member serving on the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition, to introduce the Food Policy presenters and guests.

Ms. Kilbane stated that there has been much in the local and national news related to obtaining safe and nutritious food within a community. Food access involves land use, human health, job creation and community building. Ms. Kilbane indicated that several years ago some people got together to discuss these issues and it has now evolved into a formal collaboration called the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition.

The national media has once again recognized Cleveland for the vision of our sustainability movement. First, Yes! Magazine praises the local food movement here, in particular the swelling ranks of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga Food Policy Coalition, and the folks getting their hands dirty building up Cleveland’s urban agriculture one asphalt lot and cinder block (raised garden) at a time.

Food policy councils’ commitment to building a “big tent,” open to many interests, is starting to pay off in other communities as well. Cleveland, for example, has “brought together an amazing group of food system stakeholders who have a vision for a just and sustainable local food system,” according to Jennifer Schofield, cofounder of the Cleveland Cuyahoga County Food Policy Council.

Cleveland's City Council on Monday approved two measures aimed at reshaping the city's urban landscape.

One ordinance will allow residents to raise and keep farm animals and bees. It's a step, proponents believe, toward finding innovative uses for vacant land.

The other ordinance sets guidelines for how Mayor Frank Jackson will spend $25.5 million in federal neighborhood improvements money. The bulk of it will be used to tear down abandoned homes left behind by the foreclosure epidemic.

Both were passed after intense debate.