Although it’s fairly long, this email announces, gives some background and describes
USDA's Food Security Initiative --Kirsten Saylor
From: Linda Elswick, Community Food Security Coalition and International Partnership for
USDA FOOD SECURITY INITIATIVE AND FOOD SUMMIT ANNOUNCED
USDA has announced the Community Food Security Initiative and Food Summit, which the
Coalition encourages all to attend, just prior to our annual Conference. Make plans now
to join us in Chicago for the Summit (October 14-15) and Coalition Conference "Toward a
Democratic and Just Food System" (October 14, 16 & 17) or by teleconference downlink
locally (Summit program, October 15th). See the USDA announcement below and invitation
that follows, as well as additional details on World Food Day.
We worked for and won this one! Implementation of the Initiative has been a major
accomplishment of the Coalition-led Community Food Security Empowerment Act document
published in January 1995 for the Farm Bill which called for such a Community Food
Security program within USDA:
Excerpts from the Community Food Security Empowerment Act, January 1995
"USDA should adopt community food security as a central agency mission. To implement
that approach, a community food security program should be established at the highest
levels within the USDA. The program would coordinate food-security related programs
within USDA; play a planning role for both inter-governmental and extra-governmental food
security-related programs; and provide a focal point for linkages between the USDA and
other federal agency activities as they relate to food security issues."...
The Coalition is working to help plan the program for the Food Summit which will
introduce the Community Food Security Initiative. This Initiative has been formed in the
past few months by USDA staff with input by the Coalition. The Summit offers a timely
look at what USDA and communities across the country are doing to build sustainable food
systems and end hunger, including a plenary panel featuring a comprehensive look at
community food security and examples of program efforts from around the country.
All of this nicely complements the Coalition conference and this is a good opportunity to
combine both events. There will be a teleconference with downlink sites across the
country linked to World Food Day, workshops and opportunities to meet with the new USDA
State Community Food Security liaisons. The Summit offers a number of programs, some of
which will be built on more in-depth sessions offered on the 16th at the Coalition's
Conference. These will be designed to offer an introduction to the wide range of issues
encompassed in the framework of community food security, reaching an audience of USDA
staff and delegates from all over the country.
The Coalition remains active working with USDA on policy and programs for food security,
serving on the planning committee for the Summit, participating as a partner in advancing
common concerns, and continuing to monitor Department efforts to spearheard this issue.
It is a significant victory to have this level of attention and commitment by the
Department of Agriculture, one of which the Coalition and other organizations who
advocated for it can be proud. The Summit is also an opportunity to meet with groups
cross the country and begin forging additional partnerships to see that all of this
effort will make a difference. Don't miss it.
GLICKMAN ANNOUNCES SUMMIT, ACTION PLAN FOR COMMUNITY FOOD SECURITY INITIATIVE
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 1999- In remarks today to the national anti-hunger organization
Share Our Strength, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman unveiled a detailed plan of action
for the USDA Community Food Security Initiative, including the announcement of the
first-ever National CFS Summit, and the naming of CFS Liaisons in all 50 states.
The Initiative, launched in February, seeks to cut domestic hunger in half by the year
2015 through USDA partnerships with states, municipalities, nonprofit groups, and the
private sector that strengthen local food systems.
"I want people to see this summit as a way to make government involvement in fighting
hunger more effective through cooperative efforts with communities,"Glickman said. "Just
because government isn't the only answer doesn't mean government is not an important part
of the solution. It most certainly is. I want to see communities become more adept at
utilizing governments vast resources and extensive programs to further food security
The National Summit on Community Food Security: Building Partnerships to End Hunger,
will be held on October 15 in conjunction with the World Food Day observance, will take
place at central site in Chicago, and will be broadcast by satellite to downlink sites
around the country. The Summit will both highlight existing best practices already
working to bolster food Security, as well as mobilize new commitments to fight hunger
from all sectors of society.
"Together, we can conquer hunger in America," Glickman said. "And with a Community Food
Security Liaison--a USDA employee-in each state, we will be there to help you."
Glickman said that the new Community Food Security Liaisons will provide
"one-stop-shopping" for nonprofit groups and citizens who need to utilize USDA resources
to bolster local food security efforts.
The Community Food Security Action Plan has as its primary goals: catalyzing the
creation of new-and expanding the capacity of existing-local infrastructures; increasing
economic and job security; strengthening the federal nutrition assistance safety net;
improving community food production and marketing; bolstering supplemental food provided
by nonprofit groups; boosting education and awareness; and improving research,
monitoring, and evaluation.
Earlier today, USDA's Risk Management Agency announced new guidelines to encourage
farmers covered under federal crop insurance programs to glean And donate to charitable
organizations field crops that would otherwise go unused or be destroyed.
USDA Community Food Security Initiative
What We're Doing: Seeking to cut hunger in America in half by the
year 2015 , the USDA Community Food Security Initiative is creating and
expanding grass-roots partnerships that build local food systems and reduce
How We're Doing It: USDA is joining with states, municipalities,
nonprofit groups, and the private sector to strengthen local food systems
by replicating best practices of existing efforts and by catalyzing new
community commitments to fight hunger.
Goals We're Targeting:
1) Creating new --- and enhancing existing --- local infrastructures to reduce hunger and
2) Increasing economic and job security by helping low-income people obtain living wage
jobs and attain self-sufficiency
3) Strengthening the Federal nutrition assistance safety net by supporting the full and
efficient use of programs such as Food Stamps, WIC, school meals, summer feeding, and
4) Bolstering supplemental food provided by nonprofit groups by aiding food recovery,
gleaning, and food donation programs.
5) Improving community food production and marketing by aiding projects that grow,
process, and distribute food locally
6) Boosting education and awareness by increasing efforts to inform the public about
nutrition, food safety, and food security
7) Improving research, monitoring, and evaluation efforts to help communities assess and
strengthen food security
Methods We're Using:
Catalyzing the development of new partnerships on the local, state, and Federal levels to
help communities reduce hunger.
Improving the coordination between existing USDA programs--such as nutrition assistance
programs, community food grants, ongoing research, farmers' markets, and food recovery
projects--and related Federal, State, and community initiatives.
Expanding technical assistance to states, communities, and nonprofit groups
to build long-term local structures to increase food security.
Increasing public awareness of the causes of food insecurity and highlighting innovative
community solutions to hunger.
For more information, contact: Joel Berg, Coordinator of Community Food
Security, USDA, Room 536-A, 14th and Independence, SW, Washington, DC,
20250, phone (202) 720-5746, fax (202) 690-1131, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Contact: Laura Trivers (202) 720-4623
Public Contact: Janna Paschal (202) 720-5402
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