Stakeholders from nonprofits, health care, government, education and more have been invited to a food summit in Bloomington next week.
Organizer Martin Ross said the Feeding The Cities summit is a response to a report done last year by Illinois State University’s Stevenson Center and Not In Our Town which noted low-income neighborhoods on Bloomington's west side have limited access to food, and healthy food in particular.
“There may be plentiful food per se in some areas, from mini marts, variety stores, etc., but it’s mostly high carb food that just doesn’t meet the micronutrient requirements, the nutritional requirements that can (prevent) obesity,” Ross said.
Ross is a retired Illinois Farm Bureau agriculture policy writer. He said the summit is intended as a brainstorm session to find ways to improve food access.
“The food summit is looking at the entire waterfront of ideas, everything from how we can expand food pantry reach to how entities like Connect Transit could play a role in taking people to the food,” Ross said.
The summit is set for Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at First Christian Church in Bloomington.
Ross added the conference will include details about a new initiative from West Bloomington advocates Arthur Haynes and Laurie Bell to foster nutritional resources and economic development, particularly along the West Market Street corridor.
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