Food Justice Plank

The concept of “food justice” is not just about people not having food in quantity and/or quality.  It also refers to those who actively work to bring the food to our table.  Therefore, the Green Party of Monroe County’s (GPoMC) platform plank focuses both those who create and consume our food. 

As in many aspects of Monroe County – and the City of Rochester specifically – we are a segregated society.  This is true in terms of wealth, education, safety, and food.  It is our intention to end our system of Food Apartheid; which is a valid term as our segregation is man-made. 

Therefore, GPoMC calls for:

All planning and public policy for all municipalities in Monroe County should include provisions for local, sustainable production of food and how everyone gets access to it.

Municipal policies should be adjusted and created to allow for better use of land toward the growing of food.  Specifically, zoning laws in the City (and other municipalities within the County) must be changed to allow for substantial urban and suburban agricultural businesses.  Currently, permanent structures such as greenhouses, barns, and even large sheds are not allowed on commerical property in the City of Rochester.  This must change.

All municipalities in Monroe County, including the County itself, must move toward pesticide-free practices for all public lands.

The City of Rochester should allow for 5 year permits to use City land for community gardens.  They should also allow more permanent structures and production aids such as hoop houses on these plots.

Municipalities should give and sell land to groups for community gardens and cooperatively owned farms, especially in the City. 

The City’s Cooperative Business program should be utilized to recruit and train people to create cooperatively-owned urban farms on vacant city lands, followed by other cooperatively-owned businesses that would use food from these farms.  Restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores are examples of such businesses.  These should be strategically placed in order to maximize the number of impoverished people who will have access to such businesses as consumers and worker-owners.

Monroe County should help organize food buying cooperatives in order for neighborhood grocery stores to acquire and sell a larger number of nutritious foods at competitive prices.

Monroe County, the City of Rochester, and other local municipalities should work together to create and distribute materials that would help community gardens and cooperatively-owned farms.  This includes materials to remediate soil, compost, raised beds, greenhouses, hoop houses, and various tools. 

Regulations should be revised to allow for easier access to water for gardens and farms. 

The creation of a municipal composting system, similar to our current recycling program.

The City of Rochester and City School District should work together to create farms located near each school that would enable classes in agriculture and the resulting food be used in those schools. 

Municipalities will create policies germane to their localities that recognize the concept of greenspace as development.

Do you like this page?

Be the first to comment