San Francisco city leaders gathered at City Hall this morning in celebration of Food Day--a nationwide grassroots campaign to revolutionize the country's food system.
Mayor Ed Lee and the Board of Supervisors have proclaimed Oct. 24 as Food Day in the city, spurred by the larger movement, which is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest to promote healthy, affordable and sustainable food.
Supervisors David Chiu and Eric Mar joined local nonprofit leaders on the steps of City Hall this morning for a news conference to kick off a series of Food Day activities throughout the city today.
Paula Jones, director of food systems for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said this morning that every city agency has a role in helping improve the local food system, whether through school food programs or via programs that address urban hunger.
"It takes a patchwork of organizations and individuals working on this issue every day," she said.
The staff of local food-related nonprofits and small-business owners highlighted how farmers' markets and small businesses can provide the community with healthy, affordable food options that support local vendors.
"Food generates a tremendous amount of ... energy and momentum for communities to come together," said Jeremy Shaw, director of the Mission Community Market, a weekly outdoor market in the Mission District.
"I hope we can work together to make every farmers' market a community market," Shaw said.
Paula Tejeda, owner of the Mission District restaurant Chile Lindo, reminded the public of small businesses' role in promoting healthy eating and sustaining regional agriculture.
"We buy local, we waste the least, we prepare fresh--that's health," she said.
This afternoon, Jones and other city officials were heading to the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association's offices for a presentation on San Francisco Unified School District's meals program and strategies to improve it.