Mark Bittman’s Praise for Philly

Why the New York Times columnist hearts the Food Trust and Mayor Nutter

Jenna Bergen

We’ve known for quite some time how vital the Food Trust is to our city and how groundbreaking its work has been, and continues to be, in our communities. While the Food Trust is no stranger to national attention, including that from the likes of Michelle Obama herself, another big name has joined the ranks of national supporters: Mark Bittman. In today’s post on the Opinionator, Bittman drew attention to the amazing strides Philadelphia has made in the last 11 years, and stated that foodwise, Philadelphia is “among the most progressive cities in the country right now.”

Bittman toured Philly with the Food Trust’s executive director, Yael Lehmann. He had a chance to see many of the Food Trust’s programs in action, including the Healthy Corner Store Initiative, a program that encourages and facilitates the sale of healthier food like fresh fruit at local corners stores; Philly Bucks, a program that’s made food stamps usable at nearly 17 farmers’ markets in our area; and the Fresh Food Financing Initiative, a grants and loans program that encourages supermarkets to open in poor neighborhoods so that fresh food is easily accessible. Bittman is also pro-soda tax, and praised Mayor Nutter for supporting it.

While we still have a lot of work to do to reduce diabetes and obesity rates in our city, we should feel proud that Philly is making such positive waves across the national food scene and serving as an example of the major changes that nonprofits and local government can make when they put their minds to it. Bittman ended his post saying, “Go Food Trust. Go Mike Nutter. Go Philly.”

I couldn’t agree more.