In Multnomah County, citizens working to promote healthy, local food have a new set of tools at their disposal. The release of the Multnomah Food Action Plan was celebrated on Thursday by Multnomah County Commissioners and staff, food-focused organizations, and other community members, ourselves happily included.

For our part, we signed on to the Declaration of Support for the Plan with the following statement: “We commit to continuing to contribute to local and regional planning efforts while also making edible gardens available one household/business at a time.” This officially aligns with Action 1.2 of the Plan (“Increase acreage of urban food producing land”), but we think that what we do also supports the following goals…and probably others, as well:

  • 1.6  Promote policy education (see our previous blog entry for more on that)
  • 3.2  Convert underutilized land into food production
  • 4.1  Create resources out of food waste
  • 5.1  Make healthy food more affordable and accessible
  • 5.4  Incorporate healthy food environment planning
  • 7.1  Promote health and food system skills
  • 7.2  Enhance community advocacy and education efforts
  • 10.1  Establish community food resources
  • 10.2  Create more community gardens
  • 16.3  Support local food businesses

I will close by encouraging you to check out the Action Plan and see what (besides committing to grow some of your own healthy food) you can do to enact it, and presenting a smattering of stats from the Action Plan that point to why we do what we do:

  • Oregon is ranked second in hunger by the US Department of Agriculture.
  • About 36,000 people in Multnomah County access emergency food boxes each month.
  • Only a small portion of the food we consume is locally grown.
  • Over half of all adults in Multnomah County are overweight or obese.
  • Chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke is on the rise.
  • About 30% of Multnomah County children receive food through the SNAP food assistance program.
  • The average age of an Oregon farmer is 58 years.