Lesli Hoey, associate professor of urban and regional planning, recently appeared on WJR Radio’s “Food First Michigan” show to discuss plans for tackling food insecurity across Michigan.
Hoey uses food systems as a lens to study the sociopolitical and institutional factors that mediate the ability of citizen planners and professional planners to achieve a more equitable, sustainable, and healthy society. She is particularly interested in the intersection of food policy advocacy, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
On the show, Hoey spoke about why it’s so important for urban planners to consider food insecurity, food systems, public health outcomes, and environmental impacts of food.
“One lens that, at least in my work I’m trying to promote, is to not just think about individual pieces of the food system,” Hoey said. “Quite often, when there has been government-led work, especially local government-led work around some aspect of food systems, it’s been in isolated ways.”
Hoey explained that creating food security and sustainable food systems is complex, and she emphasized the multidisciplinary nature of these issues. She also said that local and state governments must be involved with solutions.
“The state should make it their responsibility to ensure that people have basic access to basic needs like food,” Hoey said. “[Not doing so] places the burden on our nonprofits and stresses our communities even further.”
Listen to the full episode of “Food First Michigan” here.