PHILADELPHIA–Mayor Jim Kenney, with representatives from the Economy League and Health Department, announced the release of a report detailing opportunities to grow the “good food” economy. The report assessed the size and scope of the Philadelphia food economy to discover opportunities to reap the benefits of “good food” businesses and policies. The report showed that Philadelphia is home to 6,500 businesses that grow, manufacture, distribute, sell, or serve food, or eliminate food waste. The food economy employs 79,000 people, comprising 12% of all jobs in the City.
The Economy League interviewed and surveyed dozens of business owners, and used national and local data to draw a portrait of how food moves from farm to table in Greater Philadelphia. The findings in the report offer a picture that shows ample space for food businesses to grow while improving the health of the Philadelphia economy, environment, and population.
Mayor Kenney said, “Thank you to the Economy League, our City’s Department of Public Health, and all of the community members who gave their time and insight on how we can create a good food economy in Philadelphia. This report will lay a great foundation for the development of more strategies that will help us create a more inclusive economy that supports the well-being and success of every Philadelphian.”
Get Healthy Philly and the Economy League were natural partners in assessing the food economy. Get Healthy Philly has worked to transform food purchasing in area hospitals through its Good Food, Healthy Hospitals program and in City departments to make meals healthier and made from ingredients purchased from local, sustainable farms. The Economy League’s Philadelphia Anchors for Growth and Equity (PAGE) initiative supports hospitals and higher education efforts to purchase locally, and its Full City Challenge event earlier this year invited entrepreneurs to tackle inequitable food access in Philadelphia.
“The Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council envisions a Philadelphia where all Philadelphians can access and afford healthy, sustainable, culturally appropriate, local, and fair food,” says Kristin Schwab, newly appointed manager of the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council. “Our institutions and government can help achieve that vision by moving resources towards sustainable, local, and fair food businesses and practices. This report is a step in that direction.”
Jeff Hornstein, Executive Director of the Economy League said, “Good Eats demonstrates how integral the food economy is to Philadelphia’s larger economy, and that we can harness the power of good food to advance opportunity, improve health, and drive growth in our city. Economy League initiatives like Philadelphia Anchors for Growth & Equity (PAGE), which aims to localize and diversify institutional supply chains, including the food space, as well as the Full City Challenge’s support of food-related businesses, are examples of cross-sector partnerships that leverage good food for economic growth.”
“Good food” is defined by the Mayor’s Food Policy Advisory Council as healthy, sustainably-produced using fair labor practices, and supportive of the local economy.
To read the full report, visit http://www.economyleague.org/foodeconomy.