The mayor's office is bringing together a committee of local farmers and food advocates to address issues of food security in our community.
The Tucson City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday night to establish the Commission on Food Security, Heritage, and Economy. The handful of volunteers will advise Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and the council on how to give all Tucsonans access to healthful foods.
Seventeen voting members will be appointed from the following organizations: Local First Arizona, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Pima County Food Alliance, Southwest Folklife Alliance/Tucson Meet Yourself, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Pima County Health Department.
Here are the committee's stated goals, in full:
• Advising the Mayor and Council on matters relating to food security, food heritage, and the food economy.
• Providing a common forum to the member organizations for discussion and coordination of activities.
• Fostering cooperation and efficiency among the member organizations.
• Developing food access, food security, nutrition, and economic development goals and targets; liaison with other U.S. and international communities to identify best practices; recommending strategies to meet those goals and targets; and identifying potential funding or other resources to implement those strategies.
• Promoting ideas, practices, and programs to increase access to healthy foods, increase demand and markets for locally-produced foods, improve local food distribution, reduce food waste, expand composting and other uses of food waste, expand food industry job opportunities, and expand food entrepreneur support.
• Evaluating City policies and regulations for their impact on local food production, food access and security, and nutrition, and making recommendations to improve such policies and regulations.
• At the discretion and express direction of the Mayor and Council, assuming and undertaking such other tasks or duties as would facilitate the goals and objectives of the Committee.