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    First Annual New Haven Food Summit to Take Place October 12

    (10/11/2012) The first annual “New Haven Food Summit” will take place on October 12th from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at City Hall to engage New Haven residents and organizations in a call to deliver the city’s first-ever Food Action Plan. The event will feature nationally renowned food activist Will Allen. Top New Haven chefs will launch the Summit by cooking lunch with participants, and people taking action on food issues across the city will share their stories during a “Community Voices” segment. The Summit will conclude with working groups setting priorities for action on food issues in New Haven.

    Led by the New Haven Food Policy Council, the Food Summit is the culmination of two years of research and community effort to combat obesity, provide healthy food, and eliminate food insecurity throughout New Haven. The goal is to unite community and city leaders around effective action steps toward delivering the City’s first Food Action Plan. The plan reviews the key characteristics of New Haven’s complex food environment and outlines strategies and actions to increase access to healthy food for all, strengthen New Haven’s local food economy, and encourage healthy food choices through education and marketing efforts.

    Nearly 66 percent of the U.S. population is now considered either overweight or obese, with poor diet and lack of physical activity among the risk factors attributed to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. In a 2009 survey by the Community Alliance for Research & Engagement at Yale School of Public Health, 1 in 5 New Haven residents were found to suffer from "food insecurity" and hunger, and 1 in 2 students were either overweight or obese.

    Tagan Engel, CitySeed’s Community Food Systems Coordinator and Chair of the New Haven Food Policy Council, is clear about the opportunity presented by the Food Summit. “We want to highlight the great food work happening in New Haven and inspire more people to get involved in food justice work!” said Engel, adding that the Action Plan represented the work of many New Haven organizations and people who are already committed to better food and better health. “Our purpose is to bring people together in action and use the Food Action Plan to strengthen our efforts in meeting the real food challenges in our community.”

    Will Allen is featured speaker and guest at the New Haven Land Trust’s 30th Anniversary Dinner, also on October 12th. Tickets are available through http://www.newhavenlandtrust.org/30. He will also join urban gardening fans for The Big Stink: making a stink about growing food in New Haven, a tour of great New Haven urban gardens and a city-wide garlic planting on Saturday October 13th. Son of a sharecropper, former professional basketball player, ex-corporate sales leader, McArthur Genius Award recipient, and farmer, Allen has become recognized as a preeminent thinker about urban agriculture and food policy. In May 2010, he was named one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People by Time Magazine.

    The chefs who are donating their time, food, and skills to the event are:

    Claire Criscuolo – Claire’s Corner Copia

    Bun Lai – Miya’s Sushi

    Sandra Pittman – Sandra’s Next Generation

    Steve Ross – Cast Iron Soul

    Jason Sobocinski – Caseus Fromagerie Bistro

    Tagan Engel & Frank Douglas – Chefs & New Haven Food Policy Council Members

    John Barricelli – SoNo Baking Company

    Katalina Reigelmann – Katalina’s Kupcakes

    The New Haven Food Policy Council is a volunteer advisory board for the City of New Haven. For more information and to review a draft of the Food Action Plan, please visit www.NHFoodPolicyCouncil.org.

    Contact Name: Elizabeth Benton

    Contact Email: ebenton@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-8200

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