Last November, Karen Karp & Partners worked with the organization City Harvest to host a leadership summit called “Beyond Hunger: The City of Tomorrow.” The summit was an attempt to look beyond food to think about the opportunities to improve the physical, policy, equity, and educational structures in the city. Urban planners, architects, designers, bankers, government officials, and academics contributed to a thoughtful and at times spirited and provocative discussion.
Speakers and panelists included City Harvest Food Council member Tom Colicchio; Jeff Madrick of the Century Foundation; Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development, Citi; Alicia Glen, the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development for the city of New York; Dan Nissenbaum of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group; Steve Lee of Robin Hood Foundation, and many others.
Here are a few highlights from the conversation:
“Our taxes prop up a $27 billion program subsidizing everything that goes into cheap food and meat…. We don’t have the political will or policies in place to feed people well. Presidential candidates need to discuss food and hunger. They’re rarely, if ever, mentioned.” – Tom Colicchio, chef, City Harvest Food Council member
“Even with a $15 minimum wage, you still live way too close to the poverty line.” – Kate MacKenzie, Director of Policy and Govt. Relations, City Harvest
“Don’t use the term ‘food deserts’ – it’s food apartheid.” – Karen Washington, activist and farmer
“All politics is local; all community engagement is local.” – Dan Nissenbaum, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group
“Food should be empowering. Feed, be fed, and give thanks.” – Shakirah Simley, Community Programs Manager, Bi-Rite Family of Business
“People use terms like poverty, lower-middle class, working class … The problem is vulnerability.” – Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance, Citi
“If place matters, let’s design better places to solve hunger and housing ills.” – Allison Arieff, Editorial Director, SPUR
“A city without hunger is a city that is much more equitable.”- Barbara Turk, Director of Food Policy, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, NYC
“Many churches are land-rich and money-poor and have properties that can be engaged.” – Bishop Mitchell Taylor, Co-Founder and CEO, Urban Upbound
“We have a reality gap. We think we’re feeding the world and we could be. Forty percent of food in the U.S. is wasted at the consumer level … 52% of fruits and vegetables in the U.S. go to waste on farms.” – JoAnne Berkenkamp, Senior Advocate, Foord & Agriculture Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
“$15 per hour is not an answer to income inequality.” – Steve Lee, Managing Director of Income Security, Robin Hood Foundation