81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas

FURTHERING THE URBAN FOOD REVOLUTION

WHEREAS, Mayors around the country are implementing creative local food policies that improve health, create jobs and economic activity and enhance the quality of life of our cities; and

WHEREAS, too many American families, urban, suburban and rural, are still struggling to put nutritious meals on the table for their families; and

WHEREAS, there is great potential for an urban-rural partnership that works together for comprehensive food legislation that combats hunger, promotes economic opportunity and builds linkages between farmers and consumers; and

WHEREAS, Mayors recognize the many important potential benefits from the farm and food policy support in the reauthorization of the “Farm Bill”, including federal nutrition assistance programs, access to healthy foods for under-resourced communities, promotion of environmental stewardship and protection of our food supply; and

WHEREAS, Senator Sherrod Brown and Representative Chellie Pingree have once again introduced the “Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act” to support local food systems; and

WHEREAS, Mayors continue to express a need for strategic focus through a lead point of contact within the US Department of Agriculture for the growing number of creative city-based initiatives which promote a healthy food system, ranging from urban agriculture and aquaculture, greenhouses, business incubators and a low/no cost program to provide electronic benefit transfer readers in order to expand SNAP purchases at farmers markets; and

WHEREAS, public-private partnerships can significantly improve access to healthy food and job development, from efforts in Pennsylvania, California, New York and other states to expand inner-city retail food to new state legislation submitted in Massachusetts by the City of Boston which would create a Food Innovations Trust Fund for economic development; and

WHEREAS, the federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative has increased access to healthy food in America’s cities; and

WHEREAS, a growing number of charitable and social venture organizations are also committing more resources to urban food system development,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Conferences of Mayors supports the development of a comprehensive national food policy, that feeds the hungry, supports the small farmer in urban and rural areas, promotes access to healthy and affordable foods for all residents, including strengthening incentives and infrastructure to encourage more local food production and distribution, environmentally sustainable farming practices, better access to fresh foods and investment in programs providing healthy food, expansion of programs that help communities invest in retail markets, food-based businesses and increased access to farmers markets and farm to cafeteria programs that bring the freshest, local grown food into school lunch programs, hospitals and other institutions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the US Conference of Mayors supports the promotion of food security through the passage of a Farm Bill that maintains sufficient levels of funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  All Americans deserve a decent meal on their tables; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the US Conference of Mayors supports the continued funding of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the US Conference of Mayors supports preserving and expanding existing USDA programs such as the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack program in schools, and programs that advocate for the increased use of Electronic Benefits at farmers markets; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the US Conference of Mayors support the establishment of an “Office of Urban Agriculture” to help lend strategic focus to systems innovations in cities across America and provide mayors and city officials with an information resource and an advocate for building partnerships – within USDA, with other relevant federal agencies, with philanthropic donors and social venture investors, and with rural interests; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the US Conference of Mayors urges the inclusion of provisions of the “Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act” that support and strengthen local food systems and increase access to healthy and affordable food, especially in low-income and under-resourced communities.


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2013