Friday, February 17, 2012

Salt Lake City to survey residents as part of Community Food Assessment

Survey aims to identify food sources and link residents with resources
SALT LAKE CITY – Mayor Ralph Becker and representatives of Salt Lake City’s Food Policy Task Force will officially launch the next phase of the capital’s Community Food Assessment on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, at 10 a.m. in Room 326 of the City & County Building, 451 South State Street. The comprehensive assessment evaluates the entire life cycle of the City’s local food system from production to plate to food waste.  The City will also unveil a novel new digital tool for residents interested in growing their own food.

The first phase of the Community Food Assessment, initiated in August 2011, concentrated on compiling historic and current data related to food production, health and nutrition in Salt Lake City. The next phase is focused on surveying community members to learn more about how and where they are getting their food and what guides their decisions. Salt Lake City is also hoping to hear about the challenges residents face in feeding their families and in accessing healthy food options.

“A strong local food system relies on an understanding of the existing barriers to food production, accessibility and quality,” said Mayor Becker. “The Community Food Assessment will provide insight and guidance toward crafting effective policies to strengthen our local food system.”

The City will gather information from residents through online surveys and community meetings. Residents will be connected to resources and information that help educate and empower them on how to get and grow local foods. A Community Food Production Mapping Tool – the first of its kind in the nation – will allow residents to access a City map, click on their property and find out how much food they could grow. The purpose of the mapping tool is to provide residents with an estimation of how much they could supplement the produce they buy with food grown in their gardens. The tool was developed by Salt Lake City GIS Coordinator Kevin Bell and University of Utah Department of City and Metropolitan Planning students.

With a commitment to fostering the development of a vibrant, sustainable and equitable local food system that is capable of providing healthy food to all residents, Salt Lake City created the Food Policy Task Force in 2009. The group’s purpose is to recommend and promote sustainable food policy.

More information about the Community Food Assessment is available at www.slcgreen.com.

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