Baltimore, Mexico City honored for urban food policies
The awards were announced October 14 in Rome at the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact Mayors Summit. Baltimore was recognized for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s 2010 decision to hire a full-time food policy director to oversee strategies across municipal agencies. The director works on introducing nourishing options to food deserts and implementing an urban agriculture plan.
Mexico City shared top honors for creating community dining rooms in 2009. Today, there are more than 204 dining halls across 16 districts that serve an estimated 33,500 affordable meals daily to the poor, according to the awards committee.
Six other cities were recognized for innovative food strategies: The Canadian cities of Vancouver and Toronto; Quito, Ecuador; Lusaka, Zambia; Riga, Latvia; and Birmingham, UK. The goals of their programs range from encouraging healthier food choices and locally-grown produce to women’s empowerment and turning waste into energy.
Signed by 100 cities a year ago and 30 more cities since, the Milan Pact is the first international agreement on urban food policies. The non-binding pact encourages cities to develop sustainable local food systems and to share their experiences with other cities. Read the text of the pact here.