Mark Your Calendar: The Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council Inaugural Meeting 9/24


FoodPolicyCouncilMembers

Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council

Invites YOU to its

 Inaugural Meeting

 September 24th

4-6 p.m.

Friends,

After nine months of working with key stakeholders in the Lehigh Valley food system, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley and fifteen other founding organizations, including RenewLV, are inviting you to the Inaugural Meeting of the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council’s first formal membership meeting.

With one in ten people hungry in the Lehigh Valley, and exciting opportunities before us to grow the local food economy, we don’t have a moment to spare.

Since the end of the EnvisionLV process in 2014, a Founders Team of key stakeholders have been gathering and developing strategies through public engagement events organized by RenewLV.  Now we are ready to announce a formal Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council on Thursday, September 24th, and YOU are invited!

In the last year we’ve had some dynamic and informative events, discussions and collaborations on the topic of the region’s food economy. Through these earlier community-building events, over 150 residents and local organizations have participated in the development of the council. The event on September 24th will give you an opportunity to connect with others interested in this exciting topic and find your place within the now formal structure of the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council in one of the nine working groups.

Why is the Lehigh Valley mobilizing a Food Policy Council now?  To resolve the hunger crisis in the Lehigh Valley and to take advantage of opportunities within the region to grow the local food economy.

1)  Food access is not a given for every resident of the Lehigh Valley.  Almost 75,000 people – one in ten – are relying on the food banks monthly.  In 2014, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley pledged to reduce food insecurity by 50% in the Valley by 2022.

2) Growing the local food economy and preserving farmland in the process will create great economic opportunities.  “If each of the 241,047 households in the Valley were to spend just $10 per week on locally grown foods during the growing season, would result in the annual generation of $97 million in economic activity.

On Thursday, September 24 from 4:00-6:00 pm at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown you can join the Lehigh Valley’s New Food Revolution at the Inaugural Meeting of the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council.

Across the country food policy councils have effected positive change in their local food systems.  The creation of the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council is a recommendation of Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley’s Assessment Report:  Lehigh Valley Food Economy.  In 2014 the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission published “1LV,” a summary document of the EnvisionLV HUD-funded sustainability planning effort.  This report documented 31 regional sustainability goals, four of which the fulfilment of would move the Lehigh Valley toward a healthier local food economy.   The Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council will work to implement these 1LV goals and the other recommendations from the Assessment Report:  Lehigh Valley Food Economy.

Who should participate?

Any person, organization or company can be a member of the Lehigh Valley Food Policy Council.  This council will continue to move forward with the regional work on food access and food economy through the nine working groups of the council.  If you are interested in solving any of these tough regional problems, you should join on September 24th:

1) Food Access – limited access, government assistance, emergency resources, traditional retail markets, non-traditional urban markets

2) Consumer Education – healthy diets, where to find nutritious food

3) Urban Agriculture – community gardens, urban farms, alternative food resources

4) Food Waste – food recovery, composting, gleaning

5) Land Use – farmland preservation

6) Promoting Local Food Economy – farm to school, community education

7) Farming – farmers, farms, new farmer training, capacity and production

8) Distribution – infrastructure, processing, aggregation, distribution, wholesale buyers, farms to institutions

9) Entrepreneurship – growing the local food economy through starting and scaling up food and beverage businesses

There is no cost to attend this event, but space is limited so pre-registration is required.  To reserve your spot, click here.

Or, send an email to:  smartgrowth@renewlv.org.

The seventeen collaborating organizations comprising the Founders Team include:  Buy Fresh Buy Local of the Greater Lehigh Valley, RenewLV, the Nurture Nature Center, Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, Counties of Northampton and Lehigh, the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, CADCA – Jordan Heights Neighborhood Revitalization, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Rodale Institute, Sodexo, Lafayette College, Seven Generation Charter School, St. Luke’s University Health Network, the Lehigh Valley Health Network, New Bethany Ministries and Penn State Cooperative Extension Office.

Posted on August 14, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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