Speaker Series #15 – Resilient Food Systems

Aug 2020

About the Session

The Speakers


Cities on the Frontline #15 – June 18, 2020

Ensuring equitable access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, particularly for poor and vulnerable communities, has emerged as a critical challenge facing governments as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Further, the pandemic has exposed a multitude of vulnerabilities within existing food systems at global and city-region levels. However, it also presents a unique opportunity to rethink food systems and help cities better prepare for potential future food crises triggered by the climate emergency or other threats.

Robust agri-food systems for a resilient recovery: Quito’s experience

David Jácome Pilot, Chief Resilience Officer of the City of Quito explained how proper planning can help protect communities suffering from food insecurity. Actions such as citizen participation in food distribution, urban farming, and food banks have helped tackle some of the problems that emerged during the COVID-19 lock down. Coordination between government agencies, municipalities and other stakeholders was not always easy but nevertheless essential to make it all happen.

Resetting the Food System

Danielle Nierenberg, President of Food Tank presented a roadmap for resetting food systems. She shared innovative approaches to help maintain the food chains such as drive-through farmer’s markets. She also emphasizes the importance of providing adequate protection to under paid workers in the agriculture sector.

Resilient Food Systems

With a majority of the hospitalizations due to coronavirus linked to dietary related health conditions, Roy Steiner, Senior Vice President for the Food Initiative at the Rockefeller Foundation, suggested that food should be seen as preventive medicine to make communities healthier and more resilient to health-related risks.

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