Encinitas resident helps spearhead SDFSA effort to enhance San Diego County's meals system

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A brand new report by an alliance of teams devoted to bettering San Diego County’s meals methods states that one in three county residents – or roughly 1.1 million folks – is meals insecure, which means they might not know the place their subsequent meal is coming from.

“San Diego County Food Vision 2030” was launched in mid-July, and was spearheaded by the San Diego Food System Alliance, a company that features a big range of companions, from authorities companies and nonprofits to farmers and philanthropists, stated Sona Desai, the group’s affiliate director and an Encinitas resident.

“Right now, our food system fails to provide for everyone,” stated Desai. “It’s a pretty huge number of San Diegans that are food or nutrition insecure.”

The downside was exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and its attendant financial woes, stated Desai. Before the pandemic, one in seven county residents was meals insecure, in contrast with the present statistic of 1 in three residents.

The time period meals insecurity encompasses households that don’t have sufficient meals, don’t have entry to a protected and wholesome meals provide, or just can’t afford to purchase sufficient meals to fulfill their wants.

“So much of food insecurity is tied to poverty,” Desai stated.

The report and web site – sdfoodvision2030.org – had been the product of two years of analysis and outreach by the examine’s organizers. Nearly 3,000 San Diego County residents supplied enter by means of quite a lot of automobiles, together with surveys, interviews and focus teams.

Those contributors included folks in quite a lot of cities and neighborhoods, in addition to farmers, fishermen, house owners of food-related companies and members of tribal communities.

The outcome, stated Desai, is a imaginative and prescient for bettering San Diego County’s meals methods over the following decade. The report consists of three overarching targets, that are domesticate justice, battle local weather change and construct resilience.

The report additionally encompasses 10 goals tied to these targets, amongst them: protect agricultural lands; improve the viability of native farms, fisheries, meals companies and employees; elevate wages and dealing situations for these in food-related companies; scale up meals waste prevention initiatives; improve management of individuals of shade throughout the meals system; construct an area, sustainable and equitable meals system; and plan for a resilient meals system.

Carrying out these goals will take the mixed efforts of many individuals and organizations all through the area, stated Desai.

For instance, she stated, the area must do simpler planning for the way forward for agriculture in San Diego County, from preserving agricultural lands to addressing the prices and availability of water for farmers.

“If we don’t plan for agriculture in this region, it won’t exist here anymore,” she stated.

Other methods, she stated, embrace convincing residents and enterprise house owners alike to help native meals growers and fishermen. Critical to this effort is making native meals extra “mainstream,” comparable to urging supermarkets to hold locally-grown produce.

While lots of the report’s goals require motion by policy-makers, companies, nonprofits or different organizations in San Diego County, Desai stated there are issues folks can do to additional enhance the fairness, sustainability and resilience of our meals methods.

Among these steps, stated Desai, is supporting native meals producers by patronizing farmers markets, impartial meals markets and locally-owned eating places, and asking the shops the place they store to hold locally-produced meals.

Another step, she stated, is to volunteer at a meals financial institution, pantry program or nonprofit that gives meals for the economically deprived.

Those with monetary means can donate to food-related charities and philanthropic organizations, she stated.

Finally, she stated, residents can educate themselves concerning the meals system and the way meals reaches their households, asking the query, “How can we do a better job of getting local food onto our plates?”

Desai, a local of Philadelphia, moved to North County about 5 years in the past when her husband was supplied a tenure-track place at UCSD.

As a university scholar in Colorado, she labored at a student-run farm, and fell in love with the work. “I had found what I really needed to be doing,” she stated.

She later moved to Vermont, the place she began her personal natural farm, and lived for about 20 years – additionally incomes a grasp’s diploma in environmental legislation and coverage – earlier than her transfer to Encinitas.

A lifelong vegetarian, Desai enjoys mountain climbing, gardening, cooking and yoga.

For extra data, go to www.sdfsa.org.


This web page was created programmatically, to learn the article in its unique location you may go to the hyperlink bellow:
https://www.encinitasadvocate.com/news/story/2021-08-03/encinitas-resident-helps-spearhead-sdfsa-effort-to-improve-san-diego-countys-food-system
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