CUNY Urban Food Policy Monitor
e-newsletter of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute  
 
Growing Good Food Jobs in NYC: Perspectives from the Front Lines
 
L to R: Lynn Loflin (Lenox Hill Neighborhood House), Alexander Breen (Seedco),
Alix Fellman (WHEDco, Bronx CookSpace), Olivia Blanchflower (GrowNYC)
 
In preparation for our December 18th Urban Food Policy Forum on Growing Good Food Jobs in NYC we asked some of the city’s prominent good food jobs champions to weigh in on two critical questions: (1) What one thing could elected officials (e.g. mayor, governor, council members, etc.) do in the next year to promote good food jobs? and (2) What's the biggest obstacle to increasing the number of good food jobs in NYC and how does your organization/company address this obstacle? Here is what they shared.
 
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Commercial Urban Agriculture in the Global City: 
Perspectives from New York City and Métropole du Grand Paris
by Kristin Reynolds and Ségolène Darly
 
 
Relatively new to the urban agriculture scene, for-profit groups are developing new, and at-times ‘high tech’ innovations for growing, and marketing urban agriculture products. In a new article written for Food Policy Monitor, Drs. Kristin Reynolds and Ségolène Darly analyze cases from the US and France and argue that, as agrarian activity is redefined to include such urban ventures, this may also be changing the way urban agriculture, and perhaps agriculture writ large, is perceived. One key question the researchers examine is how cities can nurture urban agriculture systems that allow for innovation while supporting social and economic equity among cities’ diverse residents.
 
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Food, Cities, and the SDGs: Institute Staff Contributes to a New Report
 

 
On November 28th, the City of Milan (Italy) together with the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation (BCFNF) released a new report on the role of cities in advancing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). FOOD & CITIES: The Role of Cities for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals offers a comprehensive account of most recent urban food policy research and practice around the world and includes sections on seven exemplary case studies: Milan, New York, Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, Sydney, and Tel Aviv-Yafo. Institute staff contributed a chapter on New York City that examines the role of municipal food policy over the last decade in advancing two global frameworks for sustainable development and urban food systems – the UN SDGs and the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP). BCFNF is a multidisciplinary think tank focused on the economic, scientific, social and environmental factors that shape agri-food systems and the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through food.

To assess how New York City’s recent food policies addressed the SDGs and the MUFPP frameworks, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute researchers used these two sets of global indicators to identify 67 city and state food policies implemented in the last decade (although some had been approved a few years earlier). The analysis revealed that four SDG goals –those on eliminating hunger, ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all, promoting inclusive and equitable quality education for all, and strengthening governance for implementation of the SDGs – have the highest number of policies implemented and six have two or fewer policies implemented.
 
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Upcoming Events
 
 
URBAN FOOD POLICY FORUM | Growing Good Food Jobs in New York City

Tuesday, December 18, 2018
9:00am – 10:30am
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health
55 West 125th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10027

What opportunities are there for expanding New York City’s good food jobs – food sector jobs that pay a decent wage; offer benefits, safe working conditions and pathways for career advancement; and make healthy affordable food more available in low-income communities? What is missing to scale up existing innovations? Which policies, initiatives, and investments will best address current entrepreneurs and workers? Which will provide the conditions for good food jobs to flourish? On December 18th, join the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute and a group of guest speakers to explore these and other key questions in this Urban Food Policy Forum.



Opening Presentation
Nick Freudenberg and Craig Willingham – Presentation of the New Report: “A Guide to Growing Good Food Jobs in New York City” (October 2018)

Panel Discussion
Speakers:
  • Angie Kamath, University Dean for Continuing Education and Workforce Development, CUNY
  • Alex Breen, Senior Associate, Seedco

Moderator:
Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute.
RSVP to Forum
 
Food Policy from Elsewhere
 
 
London Bans Junk Food Ads on Public Transport
 
 
This column introduces a new Food Policy Monitor feature Food Policy from Elsewhere. It will explore food policy innovations in other cities and nations for their relevance to New York City.

In November, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced the London transport network will ban junk food advertising on all modes of transport operated by Transport for London, that city’s equivalent of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The ban, to go in effect at the end of February 2019, will cover ads for foods high in sugar, salt and/or sugar and considered “less healthy” under Public Health England guidelines. Food companies and fast food chains will only be able to promote healthier options, rather than publicizing brands. Can New York City take similar action to protect the city’s children who ride subways and busses from exposure to unhealthy food marketing?
 
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Institute News
 
 
CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute to launch Evaluation Training and Fellowship in 2019
 
 
In 2019, with support from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the Institute will launch free, in-person and online short courses in evaluation for organizations conducting community food work in NYC. Course topics to include: How to train your staff to collect data, how to develop evaluation questions, introduction to validated tools for community food work, how to use qualitative methods, and more.

The Institute will also release applications for individuals interested in pursuing an Evaluation Fellowship, an opportunity to receive funding to work closely with the Institute to develop their organizations' evaluation capacity and support taking CUNY credit bearing courses.

More detailed information, as well as course registration and fellowship applications will be available in early January 2019 - stay tuned!
 
 
The Institute signs letters addressed to Aramark and Sodexo advocating for Climate Healthy Menus
 
 
The CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute along with 68 other organizations – including Natural Resources Defense Council, Community Food Advocates, Food and Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Oxfam America, Real Food Challenge, and University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity – signed onto a letter asking Aramark and Sodexo to cut their purchases of climate intensive foods and increase purchases of plants. The companies are two of the world's largest multinational food service corporations supplying food to institutions like hospitals, universities, and school districts in the US and globally. Both were asked to commit to three actions: 1) Reduce by 20% or more the GHG emissions of climate-intensive foods like meat, fish, dairy, seafood, and eggs within two years; 2) Train all culinary staff in plant-based and plant-forward menu strategies, the environmental and health benefits of a shift towards plant-forward dining in the food service industry; and 3) Regularly track and make public their progress towards these goals. Considering that each of these corporations has an annual revenue of more than $15 billion, and are among the largest employers on the Fortune 500 list, the opportunity to spark rapid, system-wide change in the agri-food and nutrition sectors is immense.
 
 
APHA Annual Meeting & Expo
 
In mid-November 2018, Emma Vignola, doctoral student and research fellow at the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute, attended the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting in San Diego. Ms. Vignola participated in a session entitled “Making Hope Practical: Progressive Pedagogy that Enhances Capacity for Civic Engagement in the Collective Struggle for Health Equity” organized by the Spirit of 1848, a network focused on the link between social justice and public health.

Ms. Vignola’s presentation described an online training for the public health workforce, developed in collaboration with CUNY Faculty and the Region 2 Public Health Training Center, that advocates for collective action to increase food security among immigrants. While immigrant access to public benefits has long been the subject of national debate, intensified anti-immigrant policies and threats to restrict food and other assistance programs have increased existing barriers to healthy, affordable food among low-income immigrants. Due to limited human and financial resources, siloed programming, and limits on public employees’ political advocacy, health departments and other public agencies usually rely on downstream strategies such as educational campaigns to reduce immigrant food insecurity, rather than taking on the root causes of this issue. The online training is designed to help health department workers overcome these barriers by (1) expanding their practice to promote health equity by supporting immigrant access to healthy food; (2) identifying underlying causes of food insecurity among immigrants, including exclusionary eligibility restrictions, repressive immigration enforcement, and poverty wages; and (3) leveraging the strength of existing community coalitions and political and social movements through partnerships that promote immigrant inclusion, fair labor, and other political and living conditions that promote immigrants’ health.
 
How Social Media Has Changed the Food Industry, Panel at DoRIS
 
L to R Dr. Rositsa Ilieva, Dr. Chris Palmedo, Greg Silverman, and Susan LaRosa
 
On Thursday December 6th, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute Faculty Fellow and SPH Associate Professor Dr. Chris Palmedo together with Institute Food Policy Monitor Director Dr. Rositsa Ilieva participated in a panel discussion on How has social media changed the food industry? hosted by the New York City Department of Records and Information Services (DoRIS). In his talk, Dr. Palmedo emphasized the importance of understanding social marketing and the critical role that social media can play in counter-marketing unhealthy food. Dr. Ilieva shared findings from her most recent research on the application of “big data” from social media to the study of health and wellbeing in cities, including the geography of food and nutrition practices. Other guest panelists included Greg Silverman, Executive Director of Westside Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH) and Susan LaRosa, Food Blogger and Marketing/Communications Consultant.

This event is part of a series of public programs accompanying the Department’s new exhibit “Feeding the City: The Unpublished WPA Federal Writers’ Project Manuscript, 1935-1942.”
 
 
New Publications
 
 
Dr. Nevin Cohen, Research Director at the Institute, authored a chapter in a new book
 
Integrating Food Into Urban Planning, discusses the role that urban planners play in creating more equitable and sustainable local food systems. Editors Yves Cabannes and Cecilia Marocchino have woven together case studies of food planning practices in more than 20 cities in the Global North and South, from Bangkok to Lima to Portland. The examples, drawing from diverse contexts, illustrate how planners, policymakers, and civil society are confronting common challenges to public health and social justice of an increasingly globalized food system. Integrating Food Into Urban Planning is available as an open access PDF and for purchase in print from the University College of London Press.
 
CUNY researchers investigate food insecurity among community college students
as reported by sph.cuny.edu
 
Dr. Rositsa T. Ilieva, Director of the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute’s Food Policy Monitor, with other CUNY researchers led a study examining how 50 low‐income minority students in an urban community college obtain food on campus and how the features of their college foodscape shape their food insecurity.
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