Policy Changes at City Hall Could Promote Food Security, Increase Nutritious Food, and Expand Economic Opportunities
Date: June 9, 2017
Contact: Melissa Vatterott, [email protected]
Alderwoman Cara Spencer, [email protected]
Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, [email protected]
St. Louis, MO: The St. Louis Food Policy Coalition strongly supports changing urban agriculture policies that will promote food security, increase nutritious food, and expand economic opportunities for people throughout the city.
“Our citywide survey found widespread support for expanding urban agriculture policies last year and we’re excited to see that support translate into action,” said Melissa Vatterott, the Food & Farm Policy Director at the Missouri Coalition for the Environment and chairs the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition.
Board Bill 52 introduced today by Alderwoman Spencer and Alderwoman Ingrassia allows a person to have up to eight chickens or rabbits based on the size of their property. The current city ordinance only allows for up to four pets, including dogs, cats, chickens, and rabbits.
“This is one part of what will be necessary to ensure our City’s sustainability and our residents’ access to healthy foods on a long term basis,” said Alderwoman Ingrassia. “Thanks to smart collaboration between the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition, Alderwoman Spencer, and a group of dedicated representatives from City departments, we have been able to put together legislation and policy updates guided by residents that will engender positive, impactful changes for urban agriculture in our City,” she added.
Another policy being considered is the direct sale of eggs, honey, and produce from neighbor-to-neighbor. People with home gardens, community gardens, or an urban farm will be able to sell their goods from the property where it is being grown. This policy is needed for expanding nutritious food access and keeping money local.
“Gardening and urban agriculture presents St. Louis with an opportunity to improve the health, ecology, resilience, and economic prosperity of our neighborhoods, and transform vacant land into a productive community asset,” said Lucas Signorelli, Executive Director of the St. Louis MetroMarket. “Most importantly, it puts food sovereignty back into the hands of residents,” he added.
The MetroMarket depends on St. Louis’s local urban farmers for sourcing fresh produce onto the bus.
UPDATE: A hearing for the bill is being held in the Kennedy Room at City Hall on Thursday, June 22nd.
View the overview on this bill here.
View the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition citywide survey (2016) here.
View MCE’s Regional Food Study (2014) here.
Missouri Coalition for the Environment, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) state-level conservation organization, is a force for clean air, clean water and clean energy in Missouri. Since 1969 it has educated and activated Missourians to protect the land we all love. MCE’s web address is: www.moenvironment.org.