Celebrating Food Day 2014
Spokanites Celebrating Food Day 2014 in Many Ways
Oct. 24 marks 4th national Food Day, health district calling attention to local food access issues
For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SPOKANE, Wash. – Oct. 22, 2014 – On Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, numerous contributors to Spokane’s food system will come together to celebrate the 4th national Food Day. Over 85,000 Spokane County residents will join these stakeholders in celebrating the day, which is dedicated to inspiring Americans to change their diets and food policies.
In addition to many celebratory events across the city, Food Day is also an opportunity to reflect on the work being done each day in Spokane to improve access to healthy foods for all people, regardless of income.
“We’re thrilled with the work that numerous local agencies, groups and individuals are already doing around our food system and have already seen an increase in farmers’ market revenues, community gardens and scratch cooking in public schools,” said Natalie Tauzin, MPH, RD, a health program specialist with Spokane Regional Health District’s (SRHD) Healthy Communities program. “Oct. 24 is a great opportunity for more members of the community to join us and help us do even more.”
The pre-kick off started on World Food Day on Oct. 16, which was marked locally with a signed proclamation by Mayor Condon. An Early Harvest Banquet kickoff followed, hosted by Spokane Food Policy Council at Salem Lutheran Church.
Locally, as Food Day approaches, Spokanites are advocating for:
- Each resident investing $5 per week on locally grown/produced food. This infusion to the local food economy could have a tremendous financial impact in terms of more jobs, more incentive to preserve farm lands and increased food security.
- Examples include milk from local Spokane dairies, legumes from the Palouse, local eggs, etc., and there are many options locally for purchasing these items.
- Parents can learn more about Harvest-of-the-Month programs in local schools and support their children’s experience by involving them in purchasing locally grown foods and talking about the farmers who grow the food.
- When dining in local restaurants, residents can choose those that source locally grown foods or request more locally grown foods at favorite restaurants or large institutions, such as hospitals, universities, and schools.
- Residents can also go to the realfoodspokane.org Web site and take the Real Food Pledge.
- Connecting schools to locally grown fruit and vegetables
- LINC Foods, a local Inland Northwest cooperative that builds community health and wealth by creating the infrastructure for a local food system in the greater Spokane region.
- Fostering healthier options in public and private cafeterias
- Federal grant funding for sodium reduction supports Spokane Regional Health District in working with local food providers to gradually decrease salt in specific targeted foods while increasing other flavors from natural herbs and spices.
- Increasing fresh fruit and vegetable purchasing ability among low-income population
- Fresh Bucks program, organized by Catholic Charities Food For All, increases SNAP/EBT fresh fruit and vegetable buying power at farmers’ markets in Spokane.
“Food Day is an opportunity to celebrate real food and the growing movement to fix the food system. I’m thrilled that thousands of people across Spokane are joining in the celebration and are mobilized for change, starting with drawing attention to the institutions that serve the most people,” said Spokane City Council president and Spokane Food Policy Council founder, Ben Stuckart.
On Friday, Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, and six of Spokane County’s public school districts are featuring locally-sourced, fresh food on their menus in collective support for Food Day across the city.
Continued Tauzin, “Spokane Regional Health District supports Food Day through developing and implementing policies locally that support whole foods in child care centers, worksite cafeterias, and public schools.” The health district is also actively involved in Spokane’s Food Policy Council.
SRHD’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Education program supports Food Day every day by providing participants access to regionally grown fruit and vegetables and other healthy foods at local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Additionally, the health district’s SNAP-Ed program is in on the action by working to improve nutrition in low-income adults through a peer-to-peer Community Health Worker model—informal leaders in the community trained to help their friends and neighbors lead heathier lives.
Nationally, Food Day will see thousands of events in all 50 states aimed at promoting real and just food for all. All year round, Food Day is devoted to mobilizing support for policies that advance healthier diets, promote sustainable and organic agriculture, reduce hunger, reform factory farms, and support fair working conditions for food and farm workers.
“We are excited to be a part of Food Day and are happy to help, and let students know about what local agriculture does for the community,” said Full Bushel Farm’s Dan Sproule. The Cheney farmer provides 500 pounds of carrots to East Valley School District. “Food Day is not just a day-long event, but an opportunity to make a permanent change that supports a more sustainable and healthy future.”
Food Day is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. It seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and eaters of all types—to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. This is done by:
- Reducing obesity and diet-related disease by promoting access to healthy foods
- Supporting sustainable family farms and protecting the environment
- Promoting student’s health by offering them healthier foods
- Obtaining fair wages for all workers in the food system.
On the Food Day Web site at www.foodday.org, residents can find several local events and efforts promoted by Spokane universities and public schools, as well as gleaning and composting events, and where the hungry can access healthy, free food. Information can also be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s Web site offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow #FoodDay on Twitter or SRHD at @spokanehealth.