Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) Advocacy Opportunity to provide testimony to the DC Council on climate resiliency and the food system. 12/17

I’m writing from the Advocate Subcommittee to encourage participation in the DC Council’s December 17thvirtual roundtable on climate and resiliency. You may want to provide testimony to the DC Council on climate resiliency and the food system.
In particular, this is an opportunity to highlight how a central food processing facility in the District would strengthen the resiliency of the local food system. We have attached a document with suggested talking points on this topic. This is also an opportunity for GFPP members to share their priorities on climate resiliency in general, particularly regarding the food system and the GFPP values, including:

  • Strengthening the local food economy by supporting local food entrepreneurs and regional farmers to reduce the District’s reliance on transportation systems and large corporations, making the food supply chain more resilient in the face of future supply chain disruptions caused by climate change. Supporting regional farms will also promote increased consumption of fresh produce.
  • Shifting District procurement to low-carbon foods (as required by the Green Food Purchasing Amendment Act of 2021) to reduce the carbon footprint of the District’s food system. These shifts will also make District-purchased foods more nutritious, reducing the burden of diet-related disease. To achieve these benefits, the District should implement the Green Food Purchasing Amendment Act without delay, and should also encourage and support private institutions in making similar carbon reductions in their food procurement.
  • Emphasizing the role of GFPP values by highlighting how DC schools are working to improve the environmental sustainability of their food and that this work is a priority. It should not only be focused on in DC schools, but should be considered for expansion to other institutions.
  • Reducing carbon emissions from food waste by implementing curbside composting pickup at DC residences, and by implementing the commercial food waste composting requirements of the Zero Waste Omnibus legislation. Project Drawdown lists reducing food waste as one of the top three opportunities for combatting climate change.

The stated purpose of this hearing is to learn about efforts underway to prepare the District for, and, where possible, mitigate the effects of climate change, and to solicit testimony from climate and resiliency experts on how the District might expand or enhance its current resilience plans. At the roundtable, the Council will hear from several agencies responsible for resilience planning, including the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), and the Food Policy Director within the Office of Planning. Information about the roundtable and how to testify is available here.
The roundtable will begin with public testimony. It will be great to have testimony emphasizing the connection between food and climate change, including the role that agriculture plays in emissions, and the impact that climate will have on the food system if unchecked.

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