Did you know that the Lehigh Valley population is projected to grow by another 145,000 people by 2030 and yet the amount of open space and agricultural lands has decreased by 22% since 1975? Will there be enough fresh food to support our growing population?
On Thursday, July 26, Nurture Nature Center (NNC) held a public forum on the local food economy. Despite heavy rain and thunderstorms that night, over 62 people participated from twelve municipalities from across the greater Lehigh Valley area.
The forum featured a presentation by Lynn Prior, the Director of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter of Buy Fresh, Buy Local. Her presentation can be viewed here: http://www.buylocalgreaterlehighvalley.org/resources.html.
Lynn is leading the development of a Lehigh Valley Fresh Food Access Plan (which is part of a Lehigh Valley Sustainability Plan underway by Envision Lehigh Valley (http://www.envisionlehighvalley.com/)). Part of the reason NNC held the forum was to ask two questions of the general public that will help shape the development and priorities of the Food Access Plan. The responses are shown below.
Question 1: What is your primary concern about the Lehigh Valley food economy now? (See results in photo gallery).
Question 2: Given that at present we can only feed 24% of our population and we’re expecting about 145,000 more people in the next 20 years, what should be the top priority for our local food economies? (See results in photo gallery).
Would you have answered these questions differently? If so, let us know what you think!