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  • Andrea Strong

Corey Johnson's Growing Food Equity Platform is a HUGE Win for Kids (and us)

I am thrilled to announce that THREE of our advocacy points were addressed by Speaker Corey Johnson's Growing Food Equity Food Policy Agenda, announced today in an inspiring presentation for advocates at Cypress Hill's P.S. 89, where students grow vegetables in their own greenhouse.



The Speakers Growing Equity in New York City food policy agenda is inspiring and unparalleled in its scope. It includes proposals to stem hunger, provide for equitable access to food, to reduce food insecurity, to implement Good Food Purchasing, to improve food governance, to provide access to scratch-cooked healthy school food, nutrition education, urban agriculture and much more. Three of our goals were addressed:   1. Scratch Cooking The Speaker will introduce legislation to require DOE to create a road map to make scratch-cooked meals accessible to every child in public school. This is a HUGE win for us and sets us up for the road to real food in all cafeterias. His platform reads: "The City should study and create an implementation plan to ensure that every school child has access to scratch-cooked, healthy, delicious, and culturally-appropriate menu items. This requires funding capital upgrades in school kitchens and increasing the SchoolFood budget to purchase fresh foods." 2. Nutrition Education Second, we have great movement on Nutrition Education. The speaker has called for Food-Ed Coordinators at DOE Office of School Wellness: "The City should create Food-Ed Coordinator positions in the Office of School Wellness to align food and nutrition education programming across schools and grades, facilitate professional development, and help integrate wellness with sustainability and other academic subjects. The positions would coordinate with relevant DOE offices and programs related to school food, wellness, sustainability, Garden to Café, and Grow to Learn, and be informed by the Food-Ed Resource Hub." 3. Gardens in All Schools Finally, with regard to Gardens, the Speaker also addressed Farming Education for School-Age Children: "The City should support organizations working to expand farming education to school-age children. When children learn how to grow food, they become more conscious and educated about the environment, earth science, nutrition, and healthy eating. Every child should have equitable access to agricultural education." I am extremely grateful to Nadia Johnson, the speaker's food policy directors and Teacher's College Deputy Director Claire Uno for bringing me into the conversations about food policy back in November. Since then, I have been having conversations with Nadia about our platform and I am beyond thrilled that so many of our advocacy points are in this platform. It is going to change the way children are fed for generations and hopefully will inspire a movement across the country. We are in beginning stages but with this legislation introduced and voted on we can see a future where children eat real healthy culturally-appropriate food every day. Here is a link to the full report: http://council.nyc.gov/data/wp-content/uploads/sites/73/2019/08/growing-food-equity.pdf Onward!  Andrea

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