Healthy Food for All: How Belo Horizonte (Brazil) does it with Municipal Restaurants and Grocery Stores, Mobile Markets, and More

Food systems scholar, Cecilia Rocha, to speak on Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s, creative programs to provide healthy food for all residents.

Cecilia Rocha, Ph. D., is associate professor of nutrition at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.

Event 1: Free Public Lecture at Wayne State University
Healthy Food for All: How Belo Horizonte (Brazil) does it with Municipal Restaurants and Grocery Stores, Mobile Markets, and More.
Tuesday, April 21, from 5:30 to 7 PM. Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium in the Law School (at Cass Ave. and Palmer St.).

A community conversation: Belo Horizonte’s food security programs and lessons for Detroit.
Wednesday, April 22, from 11 AM to 12:30 PM. Eastern Market Corporation Conference Room, 2934 Russell Street, Detroit, MI 48207.

In 1993, the leaders of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, embarked on a comprehensive program to ensure that all residents, including those in impoverished households, have convenient access to fresh, healthy foods derived from local farms, while also strengthening small farms and agricultural operations around the city. The program helped start farm stands in low-income neighborhoods, mobile markets, and municipally run “popular restaurants” in which anyone—rich or poor—can come in and get a tasty, nourishing meal for less than a Brazilian dollar. Belo Horizonte’s efforts in building sustainable and just food systems represent arguably the most comprehensive municipal approach anywhere in the world and is being studied for its lessons by groups working in other cities, including Detroit.

Cecilia Rocha teaches food policy and economics of food security. She is also a research associate of the Reference Centre for Food and Nutrition Security in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Professor Rocha is very active in initiatives involving collaboration between academia and practitioners as they relate to food security in Canada and Brazil. She has volunteered as a member of the Oxfam-Canada Food and Trade Policy Working Group (2003-2005), is a member of the Toronto Food Policy Council (since 2006), and the coordinator of the Betinho Project, a partnership between the CSFS, the Stop Community Food Centre, Toronto Food Policy Council, FoodShare Toronto, and a number of volunteers from the Brazilian community in Canada. Once a year, she takes her students (and interested others) to Belo Horizonte, Brazil for a week of visits and presentations. These trips have informed many activities in North America.

The public lecture is co-sponsored by SEED Wayne and CommunityEngagement @Wayne. The Community Conversation is co-sponsored by SEED Wayne and Eastern Market Corporation. Both events are part of Wayne State University’s Earth Week observances. For questions about the events, please contact Kami Pothukuchi at

About SEED Wayne: SEED Wayne’s mission is to collaboratively build sustainable food systems on the campus of Wayne State University and in Detroit area neighborhoods.

SEED Wayne projects include the Warrior Demonstration Garden and the St. Andrew’s Allotment Garden on campus, in which students and staff grow herbs and vegetables; the upcoming (starting June 3) Wayne State Wednesday Farmers Market in which area market gardeners and farmers sell fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and prepared foods; Cafeteria Composting, in which kitchen wastes at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center and campus cafeterias are composted; a 4,000 sq. ft. passive solar greenhouse at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen for year-round production of vegetables for the soup kitchen; and Healthy Corner Stores, in which corner stores in the near-Eastside neighborhood around Capuchin Soup Kitchen are being assessed to increase access to healthy foods in the community.

SEED Wayne is made possible by the Ford Motor Company Fund.

For information on SEED Wayne, please browse:



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