NYC Food Policy Center March 2023 Food Flash

by Emily Solomon
A roundup of food policy topics

What’s Hot: SXSW Food Summit Recap

In mid-March, chefs, policymakers, farmers, business leaders,  and  food systems advocates from all over the country flocked to the SXSW festival to attend the 2023 Food Summit. Presented by  Huston-Tillotson University, Food Tank, and Driscoll’s, the summit covered topics related to  food labor, green-washing, urban food production, and more. In total they hosted about 50 speakers.

The daylong event is an opportunity to increase ancestral knowledge centering around food systems, while identifying opportunities for expansion through technology. 

Videos on each of the talks may be available to watch on the Food Tank Youtube page. The Summit is held every year, and is free for participants. 

Food Policy Watchdog: Minnesota Free School Meals 

On March 17th,  Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law a bill that will provide more than $800 million in funding for free school meals for the next four years. The Department of Education estimates that these funds will help feed approximately 275,000 students. 

Minnesota is the fourth state to introduce a free school meals program, following California, Maine, and Colorado. The funding will begin in the 2024 fiscal year. Supporters of the program believe that it will relieve financial stress on families, promote wellness, and help kids do better in school. 

Quote of the Month: 

“To our decision-makers who believe they have never met someone who is experiencing or has experienced hunger. Hi. My name is Peggy Flanagan, and I was one in six of those Minnesota children who experienced hunger.”

Peggy Flanagan, student at Webster Elementary School

Fact Check: Biden Approves Willow Project, leading to massive drilling in Alaska

This past month President Biden approved the Willow Project, which is a plan for massive oil drilling in Alaska.that  has received backlash from climate activists. 

According to CNN, “By the administration’s own estimates, the project would generate enough oil to release 9.2 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon pollution a year – equivalent to adding 2 million gas-powered cars to the roads.”

Climate Activists fear that we are not in a position to allow any more destruction to our environment and have taken to social media, includingTik Tok, to share their concern and rally protestors against the ruling. Additionally, they point out that this decision will have a significant negative effect on President Biden’s 2023 Climate Goals.

On the other hand, Alaska lawmakers received the ruling with open arms as it will bring thousands of new jobs and generate billions of dollars in revenue.

Though the Willow Project plans still need to be defined, its immediate effects on public opinion are glaringly clear. 

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