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Thursday, February 24, 2022

波士頓市長吳弭宣佈成立「種植波士頓」辦公室 強調食物正義

(Boston Orange 編譯) 波士頓市長吳弭 (Michelle Wu) (24) 日宣佈,成立「種植波士頓: 城市農業辦公室 (GrowBoston: Office of Urban Agriculture) ,由Shani Fletcher出掌;「食物獲取辦公室 (Office of Food Access) 」將改名為「食物正義 辦公室 (Office of Food Justice) 」。

            「種植波士頓: 城市農業辦公室」將設在房屋內閣之中,致力在波士頓各地增加食物產量,研發、實施生產食物的創新策略,為潛在及現有的園林及農場提供技術支援,為園林業者、農民,以及其他居民研究生產食物的資源,和市府其他部門合作,擴大全市的市區農業。

            「種植波士頓」也將在致力解決現有食物體系中的不正義之外,對波士頓紓緩、因應氣候變化作貢獻。

            「食物正義辦公室」將是環境、能源及公開空間長Mariama White-Hammond牧師所管轄內閣的一部分,在實踐波士頓市長讓所有波士頓居民都可得到營養,可負擔,以及與其文化相應食物的承諾上,再進一步擴大。

            市長的「食物正義辦公室」將以投資進波士頓的食品生意,打造聯盟,擴大波士頓居民取得可負擔,文化相應,且營養食物的途徑,使用公家採購食物方式,在波士頓的食物鍊工作人員身上投資等5個方向為工作重點。主要使命是打造公平,有彈性,可持續及公正的食物系統。

「種植波士頓」的重心是生產食物,「食物正義」的重心是取得食物。

波士頓市長的房屋辦公室(Office of Housing)經辦「草根開放空間項目」已有25年,支持建立新的社區公園,城市農場,以及社區所擁有的開放空間。迄今已闢出60多英畝的開放空間,主要是做為社區公園。

過去3年來,有16個食物生產場地已完工或正在興建中。「種植波士頓」將在草根項目現有的開闢、翻修場地等工作上,進一步擴大,推廣城市農業。過去3年來擔任MOH草根項目經理的Shani Fletcher將升為主任。

波士頓市府表示,波士頓市經由訂立全美第一個准許城市農作的區域規畫第89(Article 89),在市區食物生產上成為領袖已有10年。

「種植波士頓」將爭取新資金來為鄰里團體及非牟利機構提供資源及技術援助,協助他們在波士頓市內組織,採購,建立,管理並維持城市農場,食物森林,社區園林,以及開放空間。

            波士頓農場社區土地信託(Boston Farms Community Land Trust) 董事會董事長暨城市務農院(Urban Farming Institute)創立董事Dave Madan表示,在打造波士頓的市區農業上,波士頓市政府是個不可思議的夥伴。

MAYOR WU ANNOUNCES EXPANSION OF FOOD AND URBAN AGRICULTURE INITIATIVES

Change reflects efforts to increase opportunities to grow and access locally grown food
BOSTON - Thursday, February 24, 2022 - Mayor Michelle Wu today announced the creation of GrowBoston: Office of Urban Agriculture. The new office will be within the Housing Cabinet and will work to increase food production throughout Boston; develop and implement innovative food production strategies; provide technical assistance to prospective and existing gardens and farms; develop food production resources for gardeners, farmers, and other residents; and coordinate with other City departments to expand citywide urban agriculture. GrowBoston will also contribute to Boston’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change while addressing injustices inherent in the current food system. 

Additionally, Mayor Wu announced that the Office of Food Access will now be renamed the Mayor’s Office of Food Justice (OFJ) and will be a part of the Environment, Energy and Open Space Cabinet. This step expands upon the Mayor’s commitment to making nutritious, affordable, and culturally relevant food accessible to all Boston residents. The Office of Food Justice will take an intersectional approach to food security that embeds social, racial, economic, and environmental justice in all of its work. The Mayor’s Office of Food Justice will focus on five pillars to making nutritious, affordable food accessible in Boston. These include investing in Boston’s food businesses, building coalitions, expanding Boston residents’ access to affordable food that is also culturally appropriate and nutritious, using public procurement of food, and investing in food chain workers in Boston. The mission of the Mayor’s Office of Food Justice will be to build a food system that is equitable, resilient, sustainable, and just. GrowBoston is focused on food production, while OFJ is focused on food access. 

“Urban agriculture, including community gardens, urban farms, food forests, and other ways of growing food in the city, can directly strengthen our local food system, mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis and ensure equitable access to healthy food in Boston,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “GrowBoston and the Office of Food Justice will combat inequities in the food system, reduce the carbon footprint of food access, and increase food security while reducing climate change impacts. Boston has a long history of urban agriculture as well as food justice activism, and we are continuing this tradition with increased investment of public resources.”

“The Mayor’s Office of Food Justice and GrowBoston take a food systems approach to ensure we are getting nutritious food on our plates while enhancing the health of our planet and our local economy,” said Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space. “I am grateful to Mayor Wu for her vision and leadership in the food justice space and I look forward to supporting this work.”

The Mayor’s Office of Housing (MOH) has operated the Grassroots Open Space Program for over 25 years, supporting the creation of new community gardens, urban farms, and community-owned open spaces. Since its creation, the Grassroots Program has created more than 60 acres of open space, primarily as community gardens. In the past three years, more than 16 food production sites have been completed or begun construction. GrowBoston will expand on the work of the existing Grassroots Program by expanding beyond site development and capital improvements to a robust approach of promoting urban agriculture. This will include investing in innovative production strategies, providing increased technical assistance, developing and distributing educational resources, and establishing partnerships that increase food production across the City - all through an equity lens. Shani Fletcher will serve as Director of GrowBoston, bringing many years of urban farming and gardening, open space development, community engagement, and fundraising experience to the role. Shani has served as MOH’s Grassroots Program Manager for the past three years.

“I'm so excited to hear about the expansion of the City of Boston’s efforts to address the health and well-being of local residents through the creation of GrowBoston,” said Vivien Morris, Chairperson of the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition. “The Grassroots program has been a wonderful asset to help increase the use of green spaces in Boston for local parks, community gardens, and other green spaces.  Now with the increased resources put into the new GrowBoston office, we look forward to the expansion of past work to allow increased support for efforts to create even more access to healthy locally grown food including urban farms, food forests, and much more. This is needed now more than ever.”

Boston has been a leader in urban food production for decades, with a long history of community gardening through the establishment of Article 89, one of the first zoning regulations in the country to address and explicitly allow urban farming. In recent years, there has been increasing demand for community gardens as well as other food production spaces in neighborhoods across the city, especially in low-income communities of color. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on food security has highlighted even further the need for additional space and resources in order to expand gardening and farming capacity.

“Boston has a long history of urban agriculture in many forms, and our field has seen ever-increasing momentum over the past decade,” said Shani Fletcher, Director of GrowBoston. “I am thrilled to take on this leadership role as Boston moves into an era of increased investment in food system transformation with an eye towards equity.”

GrowBoston will secure new funding sources to provide resources and technical assistance to neighborhood groups and nonprofits to help them organize, buy, create, manage, and maintain urban farms, food forests, community gardens, and open spaces in Boston’s neighborhoods. As a result of this investment, Boston neighborhoods will receive improvements to and permanent preservation of community food production sites and other open spaces. 

“The City of Boston has been an incredible partner of ours in building Boston's urban agriculture sector, and we're looking forward to increased energy, ideas, and resources to expand economic opportunity and access to fresh food across our communities,” said Dave Madan, Board President of Boston Farms Community Land Trust and Founding Trustee of Urban Farming Institute.

GrowBoston and the Office of Food Justice will coordinate with other city agencies who work to connect residents with healthy, locally grown foods. This includes the Office of Neighborhood Services, and the Environment and Parks and Recreation Departments to ensure that equity and climate resiliency are central to the office’s work.

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