Utica on the Map

Utica on the Map
Smack in the Center

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Greening of Utica: Check out R2G!

Rust to Green Utica, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Resource Center for Independent Living and the City of Utica have created the state’s first local Food Policy Council and have received a $100,000 grant via the United States Department of Agriculture’s “Hunger Free Communities” program.

The program is one of a series of new initiatives aimed at helping communities increase food access by promoting coordination and partnerships between public, private and non-profit partners.
Other specific tasks of the Food Policy Council will include:
  • Supporting and developing community gardens, food cooperatives and farmers’ markets.
  • Coordinating food services with parks and recreation programs to broaden access.
  • Creating nutrition education programs to enhance food-purchasing and food preparation skills and to heighten awareness of the connection between diet and health.
  • Supporting and developing sustainable networks for distributing food.
  • Providing outreach and assistance to increase participation in existing nutrition programs.
  • Conducting surveys, research and data collection activities to assess the extent and causes of hunger in the community.
  • Resource mapping to identify available assets and gaps in resources necessary to end hunger in the community.
  • Developing tools to assess hunger on a one-time or continual basis.
  • Support existing agencies in their efforts to identify resources, partners and funding.
  • Planning activities.
The grant will support a comprehensive food system assessment, which will identify priority areas for policy and program recommendations; educate and engage the public about the food system; leverage external resources for food system improvements; contribute to economic development; and strengthen links among existing food system components. From this research, the council will develop recommendations, projects and action steps to support a healthier local community, economy and environment.

And what is R2G Utica?  http://www.rust2green.org/

Rust to Green Utica is a local effort seeded by the R2G New York State Initiative. R2G Utica will soon be housed downtown, in the Green Century Building at 253 Genesee Street. R2G Utica has been identified within an immediate action step set forth by the goals of Utica’s new Master Plan.

R2G Utica will be engaged in identifying and advancing strategies and projects particularly related to greater urban livability, sustainability and resilience.

R2G Utica aims to widen local participation, involvement and inclusion in shaping and guiding Utica’s transition from rust to green.

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