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Category: Public Policies
When designed effectively, supported by knowledge and an
understanding of the food-environment concept, government
policy and fiscal measures can positively influence what food
is available to consumers and lead to healthier dietary choices.
The food-environment concept, for example, has been crucial
to understanding and tackling food insecurity and food apartheid, as
described in this chapter.
Report: Toward Market Cities: Lessons on Supporting Public Market Systems from Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Toronto
Public markets systems in North America are both agile and fragile. When the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread stay-at-home orders and business closures, many markets across the continent stayed open, continuing to safely provide fresh and healthy food to residents as supply chains were strained and serve as an economic lifeline to farmers and other producers. This contribution to the resilience of our communities often took place despite limited, uncoordinated support from all levels of government.
It was in this extreme context that the Market Cities Initiative at Project for Public Spaces undertook this research effort to kickstart citywide market strategies in three North American cities—Seattle, Washington, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the United States, and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. With support from The Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Foundation, Project for Public Spaces provided each city with pro bono technical assistance and a small planning grant to audit each city’s existing market system, identify challenges and opportunities, and convene a broad group of stakeholders to advocate for new policy and governance structures.
This report includes background on the Market Cities Initiative and its research efforts to date, summaries of each local partner’s findings and recommendations, and broad takeaways for other cities looking to strengthen their market systems or leading their own Market City process.
Essential Services: State Declaration vs. CISA Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce
Example of state declaration: New York
“This guidance is issued by the New York State Department of Economic Development d/b/a Empire State Development (ESD) and applies to each business location individually and is intended to assist businesses in determining whether they are an essential business. With respect to business or entities that operate or provide both essential and non-essential services, supplies or support, only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the workforce reduction restrictions.”
Example of state deference to CISA guidance: Georgia
“Critical infrastructure means a business, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations labeled by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as ‘essential critical infrastructure workforce’ in guidance dated March 19, 2020 and revised on March 28, 2020… The operation of Critical Infrastructure shall not be impeded by county, municipal, or local ordinance.”
Maine COVID19 Guidelines for Farmers’ Markets March 19, 2020
San Mateo County affirms that farmers markets are essential services even as it issues “shelter in place” statement:
Pleasantville Farmers Market Statements to Vendors regarding the evolving situation on COVID-19
Pleasantville Farmers Market Public Statement on COVID-19
Letter, urging Secretary Ross to affirm Certified Farmers’ Markets’ essential role and equate them with grocery stores for the purposes of COVID19 containment policies.