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2018 Candidates: How do you plan to improve our County’s food system?

In advance of the upcoming primaries, Prince George’s County Food Equity Council members invited all candidates for County Council, County Executive, and State Delegate to respond to five questions related to the local food system. Candidates received their invitations on May 29th, 2018. The questions are listed in full below and we will update this posting regularly as we receive responses from candidates. 

Our five questions were developed by stakeholders and community members who participated in our monthly meetings and Candidate Engagement Committee. These questions are non-partisan and focused on educating candidates and the larger public about equitable food systems.

Candidate Questions:

  1. Farmers in our County often struggle to get their products to larger buyers as we lack processors and distributors that cater to small to mid-sized farms. What infrastructure, programs, incentives, or policies do food and agricultural businesses that produce, distribute, and sell local and healthy food need to grow and thrive?
  2. What would you identify as one challenge urban and rural farmers are facing and which actions you would take, if elected, to address it?
  3. Large institutions procure food on a daily basis to feed their clients. How can we expand the role County institutions, such as hospitals, schools, and recreation centers, play in creating a healthy, local food system?
  4. The County has the highest food insecurity rate in the DC metro region. 90,000 of our residents use SNAP benefits, which are under threat in the upcoming Farm Bill. At the same time, residents have higher than average rates of obesity (33%) and diet-related chronic disease. These rates are even higher amongst residents of color. Given that residents are experiencing elevated rates of food insecurity and health disparities, what primary strategies would you use to protect and enhance residents’ access to healthy, affordable, and locally produced foods?
  5. Sustainability extends beyond the concept of environmental protection. A sustainable food system should also value its workforce and be equitable, economically viable, and humane from farm to fork. Which of these aspects of sustainability do you see the County excelling at? Which could use improvement and how?

Candidate Responses:

County Executive

County Council
District 1

District 2

District 5

District 6

District 8

District 9

House of Delegates
District 22

District 24

District 26