Good Food News| March 14, 2019

EXPO Panels Focus on Good Food Public Policy

by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed

Sometimes Good Food policy advocates work toward accelerating the creation of a better food system. Sometimes they are playing defense, protecting existing gains and keeping policymakers from putting a thumb on the scale in favor of conventional agriculture and food. Come to the 15th Anniversary Good Food EXPO for the Good Food Trade Show on Friday, March 22 and learn from experts about major initiatives, such as the 2018 federal farm bill and Chicago’s Good Food Purchasing Policy, as well as specific important issues such as food access and inequality.

The Good Food EXPO is presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. Pre-registration for the Festival can be found on the Good Food EXPO site. The following panel lineup includes times and room locations at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Isadore and Sadie Dorin Forum.

Good Food Policy in Illinois

Liz Moran Stelk, Executive Director, Illinois Stewardship Alliance (Moderator)
Eliot Clay, Agriculture and Water Programs Director, Illinois Environmental Council
Brenda Rodriguez, Community Partnerships Manager, Chicago Food Policy Action Council
Marlie Wilson, Good Food Purchasing Project Manager, Chicago Food Policy Action Council

12:15-1:30 p.m., Room G

Illinois has a new governor in Democrat J.B. Pritzker, working with an overwhelmingly Democrat-dominated legislature. This panel of Illinois policy experts will present opportunities to support and engage with legislators’ efforts to expanding Good Food across the state.

Good Food Access in Chicago

Renée Howarth, Food Access and Distribution Manager, Growing Home (Moderator)
Dana Howse, Manager of Food and Nutrition, Heartland Health Alliance
Eric Rodriguez, Food Ecosystems Coordinator, Inner-City Muslim Access Network
Anton Seals Jr., Executive Director, Grow Greater Englewood
Orrin Williams, Food Systems Coordinator, UIC Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion

12:15-1:30 p.m., Room H

FamilyFarmed’s vision of Good Food on Every Table symbolizes a commitment to ensure that Good Food is available to all. That is not yet the case in many of Chicago’s underserved communities. This panel’s experts will touch on their experiences working for food access throughout the city.

Dishing on the Farm Bill: How Food Policies Affect Your Plate

Liz Moran Stelk, Executive Director, Illinois Stewardship Alliance
Wes King, Senior Policy Specialist, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Jonathan Coppess, Director, Bock Agriculture Law/Policy Program, University of Illinois
Aimee Ramirez, Manager of Government Relations, Greater Chicago Food Depository

1:45-3 p.m., Room G

After a long delay in 2018 caused by efforts in the U.S. House to roll back programs benefiting local and sustainable farmers (and reduce food assistance under the SNAP program), a new Farm Bill — viewed as much more favorable by Good Food advocates — was approved in December and signed into law. Policy experts will break down what the complex farm bill means for producers and consumers.

Wes King (right) of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has been a regular participant in the Good Food EXPO’s food policy discussions going back to his days with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance. He will participate on a 2019 Good Food EXPO panel on March 22 with Aimee Ramirez of the Greater Chicago Food Depository that will discuss the impact of the new federal farm bill signed into law last December. Photo: Bob Benenson/FamilyFarmed

How Food Inequity Is Affecting Our Children

Laurie Ouding, Community Health Project Manager/Founder at One Village (Food Matters, LLC); Registered Nurse, Rush University Medical Center (Moderator)
Glorious Wilson-Reynolds, Registered Nurse and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Rush University Medical Center
Nicole Wynn, MSN, RN-BC, Assistant Unit Director of a Surgical Unit for Spine, ENT and Plastic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center

1:45-3 p.m., Room H

Inequitable access to healthy, fresh, locally grown, affordable foods is affecting the overall health of many Chicago communities. The panelists will provide case studies, health statistics and their experience in treating children in Chicago and surrounding areas, and will touch on programs throughout the city addressing these issues.

The Plate of the State: Getting Food on the 2020 Political Agenda

Liz Moran Stelk, Executive Director, Illinois Stewardship Alliance
Rodger Cooley, Executive Director, Chicago Food Policy Action Council
Jose Oliva, Co-Director, Food Chain Workers Alliance

3:15-4 p.m., Room G

Our national political campaigns have remained mostly silent about the need to build a better food system. National organizations such as the HEAL Food Alliance are working to change that for 2020 — and a new coalition in Illinois is creating a Food Equity Policy platform.

Chicago Good Food Purchasing Policy Update

Marlie Wilson, Good Food Purchasing Project Manager at Chicago Food Policy Action Council (Moderator)
Dr. Daniel Block, Professor of Geography, Chicago State University
Jennifer Herd, Senior Health Policy Analyst, Chicago Department of Public Health
Fred Lechlitner, Sales, Miller Poultry
Allison Polke, Registered Dietitian, Chicago Public Schools Nutrition Support Services and Office of Student Health and Wellness

3:15-4 p.m., Room H

In 2017, Chicago enacted a landmark law creating a Good Food Purchasing Policy. This panel’s experts are closely involved in designing and implementing the law, and will provide an update on the policy and the opportunities it affords local producers.

The Chicago Food Policy Action Council (CFPAC) played a major role in persuading policymakers to make Chicago the second city in the nation (after Los Angeles) to enact a Good Food Purchasing Program aimed at increasing the amount of locally produced food procured by city agencies. Rodger Cooley, CFPAC executive director, will participate in a Good Food EXPO panel on March 22 about efforts to ensure that food policy is discussed in the 2020 political campaigns.

Learn from the activists and professions at the front lines of Good Food Policy at the Good Food EXPO. Please go to the EXPO ticket page where you can buy tickets for the Good Food Trade Show that opens the EXPO on Friday, March 22, and pre-register for the free Good Food Festival on Saturday, March 23.


Good Food News


Bob Benenson


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