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Local Food System Recommendations and Next Steps

(from the Monroe County Comprehensive Plan Update - December 2014) 

"...As the County’s prime agricultural soils become increasingly scarce, the importance of protecting the future value of farmland as a food producing resource for generations of Monroe County citizens cannot be overemphasized. (page 64) 

Failure to act will surely mean the devastating loss of a continual source of food, economic productivity, environmental and cultural qualities and the heritage of one of Monroe County’s prime assets. (page 65) 

Monroe County is within the 100 mile foodshed of Philadelphia (as well as New York City’s) and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission has prepared “Eating Here: Greater Philadelphia’s Food System Plan.” Although it deals with a much larger area, there are several goals and recommendations that have applicability to any area, and these are enumerated below:

  • Support local agriculture and grow the local food economy while improving profitability for farmers.
  • Protect the environment.
  • Ensure safety, security, and healthfulness of food and the food supply.
  • Improve nutrition and reduce obesity and preventative diseases.
  • Ensure residents of the region have access to enough nutritious food to eat.
  • Encourage collaboration between individuals, organizations, and government agencies.

Additionally, removing regulatory barriers to farmer’s markets and on- site farm stands is an action that local municipalities can take to increase the supply and availability of local food. As noted in the introduction, the preparation of a complete food system plan was beyond the scope of this comprehensive plan update, however, it is recommended that such a plan be prepared as a next step during the implementation process. (page 72)

Preserving agricultural land maintains the historic connection to farming and provides areas to grow food locally which can reduce energy consumption, improve health and enhance the local economy. (page 18)

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