Seattle, WA Local Food Action Initiative
Seattle, WA is promoting their local food system through the Local Food Action Initiative, which establishes goals, creates a policy framework, and identifies specific actions to strengthen Seattle and the region's food system in a sustainable and secure way.
In April 2008, Seattle City Council passed the Local Food Action Initiative also known as Resolution 31019, which promotes local and regional food systems, while simultaneously, advances the City of Seattle's interrelated goals of race and social justice, environmental sustainability, economic development, and emergency preparedness. The goals of the Initiative aim to strengthen community and regional food systems by providing Seattle residents, particularly low-income populations, with more opportunity to purchase and grow healthy food, address access disparities within the city, provide educational and community kitchen programs. In addition the Local Food Action Initiative will integrate food system planning and policies into City activities, enhance partnerships with within the City and across the region, support procurement policies favoring local and regional sourcing, and enhance emergency preparedness around food access and distribution.
The Local Food Action Initiative was created because access to food is one of the most fundamental needs of a community, yet is often not addressed by local governments. However in recent years, an increased number of local municipalities are beginning to realize the impact that the traditional U.S. food system—characterized by heavy reliance on chemicals, increased processing of foods, long travel distances, and inequitable access to fresh food, particularly for low–income people—is having on health, local food security, hunger, emergency preparedness, climate protection, and economic development.
The Local Food Action Initiative sets the stage for other local food and urban agriculture policies in Seattle, WA. In 2009, Seattle revised their parking strip regulations to allow residents to cultivate gardens in that space without a permit. In addition, the City has plans to develop a 7-acre edible food forest adjacent to Jefferson Park located in the city limits. When complete, the park will be open to the public to forage and collect the fruit, nuts, and vegetables from the trees and shrubs and will also make it the largest food forest in the United States.
Additional information on this case study:
City of Seattle Local Food Initiative
Category: Climate Resilience Planning
Issue: Sustainable Foodsheds
Community Type: Urban
Location: Seattle, WA
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