The city of New Haven has joined nearly 150 cities around the world that have signed on to an international food pact. It’s part of an effort to address food security and sustainability.
In New Haven, 64 percent of households are food insecure, meaning they lack reliable access to affordable, nutritious food.
In response, the city has signed on to the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, which commits cities around the world to work toward developing sustainable food systems while providing healthy and affordable food, and minimizing waste.
New Haven officials signed the pact at city hall and announced several initiatives, including the use of seven police substations for food pantry space, and computers for five sites so residents can have access to the city’s Get Connected website, which will link them to services.
Joy Johannes, the city’s Food System Policy Director, said they’re also including local restaurants in their plan, asking them to sign a commitment to reduce food waste.
“Then there will be a two-page sheet, one side will be ways they can reduce, and on the backside is ways that will benefit their business,” she said.
New Haven is in the middle of its summer meals program where low-income children 18 and under can receive meals throughout the city.
Johannes said they’re currently serving meals to about 5,000 children a week -- 78 percent of them qualify for free lunches.
Signatory cities that sign the pact are expected to present their food system work at the state, national, and international levels.