On Friday, October 15th and Tuesday, October 19th, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition and the foodNEST 2.0 Collaborative co-hosted conversations with Cleveland mayoral candidates Kevin Kelley and Justin Bibb. These events, each attended by about 35 community leaders, were designed to raise awareness about food policy opportunities for our next mayor. The candidates were given space to answer questions and share their plans to address food insecurity and its root causes.
The foodNEST team utilized this opportunity to briefly share findings related to food insecurity in Cleveland, to outline our aspirational goal of nutrition equity, and to emphasize the importance of community-driven solutions. Finally, foodNEST and Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition partners offered to assist the new administration with positioning Cleveland as the leader in creating innovative and transformational change at local, regional, and national food policy levels.
As a follow up to these conversations we will be producing an op-ed, after Cleveland’s new mayor has been elected, outlining our collective vision and plan for food sovereignty in Cleveland. It is our hope that this comprehensive agenda will set the stage for the resources needed, policies and actions required to disrupt the current structure of food systems, and restore the balance of power among those most impacted by the inequitable structure currently in place.