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CSED & the Community Continue to Make Progress on Food Action Plan

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Since April, CSED has been organizing Lower 9th Ward residents and community leaders to create their own Food Action Plan for access to fresh, quality food in our neighborhood. On June 15, we held the 3rd of 8 community planning meetings. Read our meeting summary below!

Purpose: Review Existing Plans for the Lower 9th Ward and Develop a Community Food Vision

Accomplishments:

  • Collective review of relevant elements of the Master Plan (because anything we plan will be easier to accomplish if it is in line with this) and current/approved projects for the Lower 9th Ward (so that we can plan with regard to what's already happening in the neighborhood).
  • Approval of first-draft Community Food Vision: “We, the proud residents of the Lower 9th Ward, envision a community where access to fresh, quality food is convenient and affordable.”
  • Undoing Racism in the Food System registration forms distributed and completed. There are still spots available to those who are interested. Lower 9th Ward residents who are participating in the Food Planning process have priority. Email foodsecurity@sustainthenine.org to register.

Highlights:

  • Our definition of a healthy food system, which was worded by Jenga Mwendo and Vincent Wilson using verbage from the discussion at the May 18th community meeting, was announced and posted: “We define a healthy food system for the Lower 9th Ward community as a community-controlled environment that is planned strategically by the community, where we have the food we want and need, and where the market is sustained by educating the vendors and consumers, involving the youth, creating jobs, and respecting our culture.”
  • National Food Day Work Group report given by Vincent Wilson. An event for National Food Day (October 24, 2012) is being planned to draw attention to the lack of food access in the Lower 9th Ward, what we're doing in response, and to solicit support for our efforts. We are looking for assistance in the following areas: Media, Logistics, Programming, Sponsorship, Political Outreach, and Grocery Store Management.
  • Core Group report given by Nilima Mwendo. The Core Group is formed of people who commit to the Food Action Planning process by participating in all community planning meetings, as well as joining and/or leading work groups. The group met twice since the May 18th meeting to help guide the planning process. They came up with three vision statements based on the verbage from the community input at 1st meeting.
  • There was constructive, open discussion about what the vision statement should say and finally an agreement on a “mash-up” statement as a first draft, which will be further developed by the Core Group to include inspirational words and a call to action.
  • Meeting participants were invited to get involved by joining the Core Group or the National Food Day Work Group.

Contact: Jenga Mwendo, Food Security Coordinator, foodsecurity@sustainthenine.org or (504) 994-7745.