“FoodPlan CNY” aims to connect and strengthen food system stakeholders

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Years of collective efforts at institutional and government levels down to individual farmers and residents have resulted in the creation of the region’s first comprehensive food system plan. It’s called FoodPlan CNY and aims to coordinate and connect all parts of the system, from farmers and distributors to retailers and finally consumers. Matthew Potteiger has devoted years to the plan… he is the senior author and SUNY ESF professor of landscape architecture. He says we have to start with the people and resources that we already have and bring them together.

“… to collectively assess challenges, but really develop new opportunities to create a stronger food system. The FoodPlan is a framework for realizing these opportunities, especially for coordination and relationship building. People don’t. no longer have to do it alone. “

He says they interviewed 50 people in farms, kitchens, pantries, warehouses and markets, and held focus groups and meetings to get feedback on ideas for change. League community geography professor Janelle Robinson says much of FoodPlan CNY looks at challenges from a social justice perspective.

It is a roadmap to move forward and improve access to land, improve wages in the food sector. Many of us have learned that our food suppliers are essential personnel during COVID. Well, now we know what some of these people are missing, and it gives us an opportunity to reflect on some of these inequalities. “

Robinson is also a member of the board of directors of the Syracuse Onondaga Food System Alliance, or SOFSA, a new food policy council spun out of FoodPlan CNY. ESF Professor Potteiger says that despite some of the richest farmland in the northeast, the food produced there does not always make it to tables a few miles away.

The city of Syracuse is truly situated within all of this abundant agricultural land and productive farms. Much of this product ironically does not enter many parts of town and country. Too many people, especially children, are food insecure. “

Researchers have found that the region’s food system is massive and has the potential to expand even further. It directly generates more than 30,000 jobs; and those jobs are supported by $ 4 million spent per day on food in Onondaga County alone. Ultimately, the plan aims to strengthen the distribution infrastructure to get food from fields to tables, develop healthy community-based food environments in each neighborhood, and expand public participation.

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