Today Toronto’s City Hall released a statement by Mayor John Tory, with his plan to address food inequality in this city. His plans sound ambitious but the fact that this conversation is being had is an excellent step forward. We credit organizations like the STOP Community Food Centre and Local Food Plus for being at the forefront of opening our eyes to the concept of not just food for all, but good food for all.
WHEREAS food justice is individuals and communities exercising their right to healthy food, no matter their income or where they live. It means overcoming economic inequalities and a lack of healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate food. It promotes food literacy and community building around shared food knowledge.
The City of Toronto has made great strides towards ensuring access to healthy food through the Toronto Food Charter and Food Strategy projects. Torontonians have likewise shown strong leadership with hundreds of community food projects.
However, there is still much work to be done. Almost 30% of Toronto children live in low income families and neighbourhoods with less access to healthy food and where chronic disease rates are significantly higher.
Food Nation is a campaign that encourages stronger city-wide action and urges all Torontonians to advocate for the development of healthy food neighbourhoods; the reduction of poverty and the increased availability of healthy food.
Food Justice Day celebrates Toronto’s commitment to ensuring that all Torontonians have access to healthy food in an equitable and dignified way and respecting our needs and diversity.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mayor John Tory, on behalf of Toronto City Council, do hereby proclaim May 5, 2015 as “Food Justice Day” in the City of Toronto.
Here is how they plan to implement the Food Nation campaign:
Toronto’s Mayor and Council will:
1) Create opportunities to grow, cook, sell and buy fresh, healthy food in all neighbourhoods and in every major new housing development and neighbourhood plan.
2) Reduce the number of Torontonians below the poverty line by the 2018 election by 40% or more by championing income inequality.
3) Create good food jobs for youth and marginalized communities.
4) Increase the availability of fresh, healthy food in community food assistance programs.
5) Work with constituents to create a better City through food in their neighbourhoods – Food Nation members bring your local concerns and solutions to your candidates!