Occidental and Villaraigosa Promote Better Access to Good Food
This Thursday, Occidental College’s Urban and Environmental Policy Institute (UEPI) and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will announce the city’s new Food Policy Task Force at “30 Years and Growing,” a celebration of 30 years of farmers’ markets in Los Angeles.
Mayor Villaraigosa will hold a 10:00 a.m. press conference at Los Angeles City Hall announcing the creation of a Food Policy Task Force to help improve poor communities’ access to fresh food and to encourage green farming. The mayor also will recognize the organizers of the first Los Angeles-area farmers’ markets, including those from the original: the Gardena farmers’ market, which opened on June 23, 1979.
His announcement is part of a farmers’ market celebration on the City Hall lawn that will include food-cooking demonstrations, a salsa contest, free produce bags and entertainment, as well as an expanded farmers’ market. All events are free and open to the public. [Note: See event schedule below.]
The Food Policy Task Force will help bring Los Angeles in line with the emerging “good food” movement nationwide. The task force will identify how to improve fresh-food access to low-income communities and in schools, foster deeper connections in Los Angeles to regional farming operations, and support the cultivation of environmentally-sound agricultural practices.
“Across Southern California, residents struggle to find food that is healthy, affordable, and fairly and sustainable produced. UEPI is thrilled to be working so closely with the City of Los Angeles to improve access to good food,” said Vanessa Zajfen, the program manager for UEPI’s Center for Food and Justice.
Occidental’s UEPI has been instrumental in the creation of the task force, and UEPI staff will hold two out of four appointments on the task force’s steering committee. The task force coordinator will be housed in the offices of UEPI.
The event's confirmed guests include: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Kurt Floren, Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner; Jan Perry, Los Angeles council member; Robert Tse, Deputy Secretary of Trade Development, California Dept. of Food and Agriculture; and Vance Corum and other organizers of LA’s first farmers’ markets.
Evan Kleiman, chef/owner of Angeli Caffe and host of the weekly radio show, “Good Food” on KCRW, will emcee the event. Other guests include Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic for LA Weekly; Nancy Silverton, chef/owner of Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, and co-founder of La Brea Bakery; and Jeffrey Saad, chef of the Spice Smuggler and runner-up on the reality-TV show, “The Next Food Network Star.”
The winner of a farmers’ market design competition co-sponsored by UEPI and GOOD Magazine will also be announced at the event. And free carrot cake will be distributed to celebrate the 30th year anniversary.
9:00 a.m.: Press availability for organizers for the original LA farmers’ markets, UEPI staff from Occidental College, local chefs, city and community organizations involved in the event, and the Crenshaw High School Eco Club.
10:00 a.m: Mayor Villaraigosa holds press conference.
10 a.m. – 2 PM: Activities and demonstrations at event with local farmers and artisans.
All events are free and open to the public and will be held on the lawn of Los Angeles City Hall, located at First and Spring Streets in downtown LA.
For more information about “30 Years and Growing,” go to: http://locallygrownla.wordpress.com .
For more information about the farmers’ market design competition, go to: http://www.good.is/post/project-redesign-your-farmers-market/ .
For more information about Occidental’s UEPI, go to: http://uepi.oxy.edu/.