Statement of Mayor Soglin Celebrating Third Annual Food Day
Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 12:07pm
Food Day is a nationwide celebration of the movement for a healthy, affordable, and sustainable food system. Madison is situated in one of the most agriculturally diverse regions in the world. We are populated with the most food-savvy citizens in the country. We are true locavores.
Since Food Day 2012, we made great strides in improving our local food system. Today, we celebrate the one year anniversary of the establishment of the Madison Food Policy Council. We hired a consultant to move us forward on a public market. We established Wisconsin's first ever incentive program for SNAP users at farmers' markets, thanks to our health care providers. We expanded Meet and Eat to three neighborhoods. And soon, we will celebrate the grand opening of the FEED Kitchens project on the Northside.
Our work is far from complete. We know that there are Madisonians that still wonder they will get their next meal. Many of our children show up for the school day on an empty stomach. We must not rest until each person in this city has equal access to healthy, affordable food.
Over the next year, I will be working with local and national partners to improve access to food in our most underserved neighborhoods. With the assistance of our Food Policy Council and other key stakeholders, we will advance policies that will promote better food access, better health, more job creation, and an overall improvement in the quality of life; all through the power of food.
Through the U.S. Conference of Mayors Food Policy Taskforce, we are working to promote national policies that will benefit consumers and producers alike. We need more support for attracting retailers to all sectors of our city; we need to protect low income families from SNAP cuts, and we need to support innovative new programs such as "double dollar" efforts, which put more food on families' tables while boosting sales at local farmers markets. Through the Taskforce, I will push for a comprehensive Farm Bill to be passed by Congress and signed by the President; one that does not devastate needy families. Washington has avoided this issue for too long and our families and businesses can't wait any longer. We will continue to demand action on this legislation as we continue to advance food innovation and progress locally.
Join us! Happy Food Day!
- Katie Crawley, 608-266-4611