CUNY Urban Food Policy Monitor
e-newsletter of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute  
Realizing a comprehensive urban agriculture plan in New York City?
Perspectives on Int. No. 1058-2018: A Local Law in Relation to Developing a Comprehensive Urban Agriculture Plan

By Kristin Reynolds, Independent Scholar
In New York, many gardeners, farmers, advocates, and, more recently, entrepreneurs argue that policies should facilitate long-term use of city land for urban agriculture, or remove barriers to entry for new businesses hoping to start-up in the Big Apple. And, as new forms of food production such as indoor hydroponics and remotely-controlled systems have joined longer standing community-run farms and gardens, an increasing number of New York City policy makers are joining in their support for such ideas. Nonetheless, to date, there is no comprehensive policy plan systematically guiding the existence of urban agriculture in the city, including its 1,200 community gardens; 490 school gardens; and 20 community farms and its growing commercial sector.
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Bringing the GFPP to New York City:
Barriers and Facilitators for Select Institutions

By Kylie Repasy, Rositsa T Ilieva, Craig Willingham
The Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) provides a metric-based, flexible framework that prioritizes five core values: local economies, environmental sustainability, valued workforce, animal welfare, and nutrition. With more than 100 national, state, and local food system experts providing recommendations on the policy, the GFPP is the first procurement model to support these five values in equal measure.

In New York City, several organizations including the Food Chain Workers Alliance, Community Food Advocates and the City University of New York (CUNY) Urban Food Policy Institute, joined forces with the national Center for Good Food Purchasing in 2016 to create the NYC Good Food Purchasing Campaign and to build a coalition of local supporters. This new report by the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute provides an overview of food procurement at two New York City agencies – the Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the Agency for Children’s Services (ACS). Two agencies uniquely positioned to reach vulnerable populations and hundreds of community-based organizations across the city.
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Child Nutrition Reauthorization: Overdue and Ripe for Reform
By Janet Poppendieck, Senior Faculty Fellow, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and Professor Emerita of Sociology, Hunter College
New York City advocates for the health and well-being of children, like their colleagues around the nation, have an opportunity to take action, NOW. Congress has at last taken up the process of Child Nutrition Reauthorization, routinely referred to as “CNR” by those who gear up, approximately every five years, to work for improvements in the legislation governing the nation’s child nutrition programs. In addition to School Lunch and Breakfast and the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the CNR process includes out of school time meals such as summer and after-school meal programs, and meals provided to pre-school children in childcare settings as well as several smaller programs.
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City Council and Organizations Defend NYC Urban Agriculture Plan Bill in City Hall
By Alessandro Ciari, Research Assistant, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and Graduate Student, CUNY SPH
New York City is an epicenter for urban agriculture. With the largest system in the country, it includes a vast (and perhaps unknown) number of community gardens, greenhouses, and rooftop farms. Despite this vital urban infrastructure, the city still does not have a comprehensive urban agriculture plan [see Kristin Reynolds' article in this issue]. New York City lags behind other US cities that have integrated urban agriculture in their plans and policies, such as Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

On June 11th, the New York City Council held a hearing on Int. No. 1058, a bill introduced by City Council Member Rafael Espinal Jr. at the request of Brooklyn Borough President Adams that would organize, integrate, and expand urban agriculture in New York City for the first time. The bill is co-signed by 46 Council Members.
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Eating in East Harlem Revisited: Will a new supermarket lead to healthier neighborhood food choices?
In 2016, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute released the report Eating in East Harlem: An Assessment of Changing Foodscapes in Community District 11. The report found that, while the number of supermarkets in East Harlem had increased from 10 to 18 between 2000 and 2015, an increase of 80%, the number of fast food establishments had increased even more, from 11 to 47, a 327% increase. For every supermarket in East Harlem in 2015, there were almost three fast food outlets, one of the many reasons why East Harlem residents bear a disproportionate share of the city’s burden of diet-related diseases such as diabetes.

Now, three years after our report, Patch reports that Food Bazaar, a supermarket with dozens of locations in the New York City area, has secured a 20-year lease to occupy a 45,885-square-foot, two-story space in the One East Harlem development on Third Avenue and East 125th Street. In April, developers broke ground on this new development that will bring 400 apartments, retail space and 10,000-square-feet of public open space to that corner of Third Avenue and East 125th Street. Construction is expected to take two years, suggesting that Food Bazaar is unlikely to open until 2021.
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On Our Radar:
  • “Best If Used By.” The FDA formalizes its position on a standardized food expiration date label for the US: Following years of efforts to reduce confusion around the meaning of labels such as “use before,” “sell by,” “expires on,” at the end of May 2019, the FDA released its own guidelines. The suggested label by the Agency is “Best if used by” and applies to food quality and freshness, not food safety. While the FDA’s position is not legally-binding, increasing clarity on the matter can help prevent food waste. According to USDA estimates, the economic loss associated with food waste in the US is as much as $161 billion. Read full article.

Upcoming Events
Charting the Future of Urban Agriculture in New York City

Thursday, June 27, 2019
9:00am – 10:30am
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy
55 West 125th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10027

New York City’s large and diverse urban agriculture system is considered one of the most innovative and vibrant in the world. The system emerged without a comprehensive strategy, yet critical issues like land tenure, infrastructure, financial and technical resources, and the role of new growing technologies, suggest that an urban agriculture plan may be needed to support and grow this vital urban infrastructure. As the City Council considers requiring a comprehensive urban agriculture plan, this forum will explore what such a plan should include and how the city should go about crafting it. On Thursday June 27, join the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and invited experts to explore these and other timely questions.

More Info & RSVP to Forum
Our next Community Food Evaluation Workshop will be held on July 10 at 10am at the CUNY School of Public Health in Room 717. This session will discuss How to Access Publicly Available Data Sources for Community Food Evaluation. Participants will learn how to access and manipulate publicly available data relevant to community food work, such as community level datasets detailing healthy and unhealthy food consumption, food retail locations, school lunch participation, community gardens locations, academic outcomes, rates of chronic health conditions, demographics of specific neighborhoods, and others.

If there is a particular topic of interest you'd like to add to this list, please reach out and we will look into what might be available! Participants will also learn how to migrate compatible datasets into Google Maps to support environment focused evaluations.

For more details, and to RSVP, please click here.

Please note that this session has been rescheduled from the previously advertised June 20th session. There will be no session on June 20th.
Food Policy from Elsewhere
Riverside County, California Adopts Home Cooking Ordinance
By Morgan Ames, Researcher, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute
On May 7, 2019, the board of supervisors in Riverside County, California unanimously passed Ordinance 949, which regulates micro-enterprise home kitchen operations. The ordinance allows for the production and sale of small batched food directly from homes and legalizes what has been known to be commonplace throughout the Riverside County area. After 30 days, the ordinance went into effect on June 5, 2019.
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Institute News
Welcome Valerie Nigg!
Valerie Chong Nigg (she/they) joins the Institute as Program Assistant for Youth and Community Development. She is a longtime nonprofit professional with a background in domestic violence and sexual assault services, workforce development, and LGBTQ+ advocacy and education. Having witnessed the intersections of food insecurity and race, gender, and sexuality through direct service work, Val is excited to transition to macro-level policy and community organizing work through CUFPI.
Re-thinking Food Access in the Netherlands
From June 10-21, Nevin Cohen was a researcher-in-residence at AERES University of Applied Sciences in the city of Almere, Netherlands. His work with Dr. Sigrid Wertheim-Heck and doctoral students focused on opportunities to re-think public markets and food distribution to support access to healthy, affordable, sustainable foods. Dr. Cohen was invited to speak about innovations in markets at Amsterdam’s WeMakeThe.City festival, participated in a workshop on approaches to equitable food distribution in New York, Barcelona, Detroit, Turin, Ho Chi Minh City, and Taipei and gave a lecture at Wageningen University on re-thinking food access theory and measurement.


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