“Two of the five fastest growing jobs are in the food system here in Denver. One out of ten of our jobs for a total $7 billion total economic activity.”
The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) is hosting a series of community meetings throughout the city to explore the challenging issues of food insecurity and healthy food access. Blake Angelo who is Denver’s Manager of Food Systems Development, says the meetings are designed as a platform for community residents to propose solutions they think would be the best in each neighborhood.
Denver is currently addressing food access and food safety through a variety of programs including the Corner Store program, the Mayor’s food commission and the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council.
Angelo says the city is aware of many food access problems from food deserts where there is little access to food, or food swamps, where there is an over abundance of fast food restaurants and corner stores which don’t offer fresh produce. Angelo says there is also an economic opportunity for the city when it comes to food. “Two of the five fastest growing jobs are in the food system here in Denver. One out of ten of our jobs for a total $7 billion total economic activity. So with those two things together we have an exciting mix or recipe that we can work with the community to start figuring out what are the most strategic ways for the city to work with these community partners, these business and industry partners, with residents, to really create that future food system that starts to address fundamentally what it means to build a great city.”
The public meetings are planned to culminate in the development of the first county-wide Denver Food Plan.
The first meeting is this evening in Council District 1 from 6-8:30 p.m. at North High School, 2960 Speer Blvd.
Find the schedule of meetings here. Find out more about the food plan here.