Community voices are critical to moving San Diego County toward a more just and sustainable food system, especially as the region recovers from COVID-19
SAN DIEGO – October 22, 2020 – The San Diego Food System Alliance (SDFSA) invites all San Diego County residents to provide input as they develop the final set of strategies for Food Vision 2030. After a robust community engagement process earlier this summer, SDFSA has developed a short survey for residents to select strategies that are most important to them and their communities. Food Vision 2030 is a bold, 10-year plan and movement to cultivate a healthier, more sustainable, and more just food system in San Diego County. Responses will be used to create a first-of-its-kind roadmap—one that will uplift food workers, allow more equitable access to nutritious food and easily withstand future catastrophic events like the coronavirus pandemic. The survey is open now through Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020) by visiting: engage.sdfsa.org
About Food Vision 2030
Led by the San Diego Food System Alliance and a diverse Steering Committee, Food Vision 2030 will culminate in a dynamic report and interactive website that includes research and findings; community stories; consumer education; and priority goals, objectives, and strategies for the region. The goal of Food Vision 2030 is to inform planning, policy, program, and investment opportunities that will transform San Diego County’s food system over the next ten years.
The Time to Reimagine Our Food System is Now
“This year’s pandemic, climate disasters, and events highlighting deeply entrenched racial injustices reinforce that transforming many of our systems is more important than ever,” says Elly Brown, Executive Director of SDFSA. “The food system, in particular, can be a powerful lever for elevating social, environmental, and economic equity for all. Changing the way we grow food, move food, share food, and think about food ultimately changes the way we treat the planet and each other.”
Key statistics that underscore the importance of creating a more resilient food system:
- Globally, the food system is an enormous driver of climate change, contributing anywhere from 21-50 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, over 212,000 people in San Diego County perform essential work in the food system, yet they earn an average of just $28,000 per year—the lowest annual wages across all sectors.
- According to the County of San Diego Department of Agriculture, Weights, and Measures, land in agriculture in San Diego County has decreased by over 24% in the last decade.
- According to the San Diego Hunger Coalition, before the pandemic, one in seven people in San Diego County were already experiencing food insecurity. Food insecurity rates have exponentially increased since the pandemic.
- Since March 2020, 50,000 jobs have been lost across San Diego County’s food & beverage industry.
Building a Plan and Movement
To develop Food Vision 2030, the Alliance has created an inclusive process that engages the full community, including people who produce, prepare, distribute, serve, and eat food. “We need to build a shared vision,” says Sona Desai, Associate Director of the San Diego Food System Alliance. “One that includes the voices of all community members, particularly those most affected by current inequities in the food system.”
Earlier this summer, SDFSA invited San Diego County residents to share their needs and aspirations related to food in their communities. Over 2,200 individuals participated, far exceeding the Alliance’s goal of 1,200 responses. 55% of the respondents were food workers or residents of marginalized communities.
Based on this initial input, the Alliance developed a set of key strategies for cultivating a healthier, more sustainable, and more just food system, and is now aiming for 2,000 additional responses from San Diegans sharing which strategies are most important to them.
“A just food system depends on the active participation of all people,” says Brown. “We’re relying on our community to help shape this vision for a food system that belongs to all of us.”
The Alliance encourages the public to take five minutes to share their input now at engage.sdfsa.org. This is open to all and available in multiple languages.
For more information about Food Vision 2030, please visit: https://www.sdfsa.org/vision
About San Diego Food System Alliance
The mission of San Diego Food System Alliance (“the Alliance”) is to cultivate a healthy, sustainable, and just food system in San Diego County. The Alliance is a diverse and inclusive network that works across sectors to promote collaboration, influence policy, and catalyze transformation in the food system. The work of the Alliance is grounded in a shared vision for change and informed by the experience and expertise of the network. Together with the broader community, the Alliance is working toward a vision of a food system that elevates social, environmental, and economic equity for all. Learn more at www.sdfsa.org.