Edible Landscapes

UEPI’s approach to edible landscaping involves affordable housing developments and other institutions becoming hubs of good food, with gardens and other edible landscaping; farmers markets and CSA drop off points, community food organizing, and other healthy food programs. Along those lines, we have collaborated with local affordable housing developer Women Organizing Resources, Knowledge & Services (WORKS) to advise them on policies that could make it easier for WORKS to implement innovative programs to improve access to healthy food at five of their housing sites in Los Angeles County.  WORKS developed a multi-pronged approach to improve residents’ access to healthy food through edible landscaping  and onsite community gardens for residents; on site produce markets and CSA programs open to residents and community members, cooking classes for residents; and community organizing among youth and adult residents to empower them to advocate for healthier food in schools and neighborhoods. Funders and regulators of affordable housing sites have not traditionally seen good food as a role for housing developers, so WORKS asked UEPI to investigate policy obstacles and to recommend improved rules that can help make multi-family housing locations centers of healthy food. WORKS and UEPI wrote a white paper on the project and policy implications.  UEPI has also discussed food programs with other housing partners such as East Los Angeles Community Corporation and Esperanza Community Housing Corporation.

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Robert Gottlieb

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