Tomorrow at 3:30 we hope to have 1200 members of the Syracuse Metro community gather for the ACTS Public Meeting at Henninger High School. ACTS is the Alliance of Communities Transforming Syracuse and it is our local inter-faith community organizing group. Why am I posting about it on this blog? Because tomorrow we are going to ask our state officials and Syracuse mayoral candidates to stand with us and make some changes around food access.
Maybe I've just been living in my own little world but until recently I didn't know that it is NOT illegal for corner stores to sell unexpired food. Apparently there are no ordinances on the books that require these corner stores to sell any percentage of actual groceries--lottery tickets, cigarettes and beer make up the majority of sales. For the South Side of Syracuse these issues are all the more shameful because there is no actual grocery store in that neighborhood.
I thought the issue was bad enough when I understood that there was a huge food desert in the midst of our city. It got worse when I understood how few people (children and elderly particularly) have little in the way of transportation to get them to, say, the Wegman's in Dewitt or the Regional Market--not without the trip taking the better part of a day, anyway. But when I came to understand that the food available to them is more often than not, over a year past date--well I was through.
So if you have some time tomorrow afternoon come and stand with us to show our community and elected officials that we care. Stand with us to show them that selling cereal that expired in June 2008 is unacceptable. Stand with us and show them that a supermarket is needed in ALL parts of our city. Come and support Mable Wilson (of the Newell Street Garden and Syracuse Grows) and show her that she and her community do not stand alone.
ACTS Public Meeting, Sunday, November 1
Henninger High School --600 Robinson St, Syracuse, NY 13206