When the City Does the Feeding: The Role of Local Governance in Urban Food Security
For 25 years, the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte has been an unsung hero in the fight against food insecurity. As Dr. M. Jahi Chappell put it, “The course to universal food security will never run smooth[ly], but steps forward have and can be made. Belo Horizonte has walked a bit farther down the path than most.” Annually, the municipal government’s Under-Secretariat of Food and Nutritional Security spends upwards of $27 million running affordable “Popular Restaurants” that serve 14,000 meals per day; supporting retail “Food at Low Cost” outlets that annually move 50 million kilograms of produce; and making lunch from scratch for 150,000 schoolchildren. In addition, the government procures nearly all the produce required for these programs from small- and medium- sized family farms in the peri-urban area.
Please join us for a keynote address from Belo Horizonte’s Food and Nutrition Secretary, Ms. Maíra Colares, as we examine the promise, challenges, and determinants of durable municipal governance in food security policy. The keynote will be preceded by a special video message from Olivier de Schutter, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, and followed by a panel discussion with Secretary Colares and Chris Shepherd-Pratt from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Drawing on the experiences of Belo Horizonte, the panel will explore a number of issues:
- What special role can municipal governments play in food security, compared to regional, national, and international governments?
- What enables government institutions to maintain their commitments to food security over the long-term?
- How can U.S. development policymakers best support local governance?
This event is made possible through the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.