The San Diego Food System Alliance asked San Diego County residents to provide input Thursday as it develops the final set of strategies for Food Vision 2030, a 10-year plan intended to cultivate a healthier, more sustainable and more just food system in the county.
After a community engagement process this summer, SDFSA developed a short survey for residents to select strategies that are most important to them and their communities. More than 2,200 individuals participated, exceeding the alliance’s goal of 1,200 responses. Officials said 55% of the respondents were food workers or residents of marginalized communities.
Food Vision 2030 is intended to culminate in a report and interactive website that will include research and findings, community stories, consumer education and priority goals, objectives, and strategies for the region.
“This year’s pandemic, climate disasters and events highlighting deeply entrenched racial injustices reinforce that transforming many of our systems is more important than ever,” said Elly Brown, executive director of SDFSA.
“The food system, in particular, can be a powerful lever for elevating social, environmental and economic equity for all. Changing the way we grow food, move food, share food, and think about food ultimately changes the way we treat the planet and each other,” she said.
According to the San Diego Hunger Coalition, more than 212,000 people in San Diego County perform essential work in the food system, yet they earn an average of just $28,000 per year — the lowest annual wages across all sectors. The coalition found that before the pandemic, one in seven people in San Diego County were already experiencing food insecurity. Food insecurity rates have exponentially increased since the pandemic.
According to the County of San Diego Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures, land in agriculture in San Diego County has decreased by more than 24% in the last decade.
To develop Food Vision 2030, the alliance has created a process that engages the full community, including people who produce, prepare, distribute, serve and eat food.
“We need to build a shared vision,” said Sona Desai, associate director of the SDFSA. “One that includes the voices of all community members, particularly those most affected by current inequities in the food system.”
Based on initial input, the alliance developed a set of key strategies and is now aiming for 2,000 additional responses from San Diegans sharing which of those strategies are most important to them.
The survey is open through Nov. 26 by visiting engage.sdfsa.org.
“A just food system depends on the active participation of all people,” Brown said. “We’re relying on our community to help shape this vision for a food system that belongs to all of us.”
-City News Service
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