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Food Justice Community Challenge #1

Emily at Finicky Farmer issued a call to those of us involved in the Dark Days Challenge to find ways to help improve food justice in our locals. It’s easy for many of us to forget how privileged we are to be able to eat this way. Today, for example, it was snowing. Undeterred, Erik and I got in the car and drove to the (indoor) farmers’ market. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but we were lucky to have:

  • A working car
  • No other obligations (like a job) on Saturday morning
  • No kids or the ability to pay for childcare, if we did have kids
  • A nearby year round farmers’ market
  • Cash – although many farmers’ markets take food stamps now, few of them take credit cards, making it difficult for those living on credit to afford to shop there
  • The knowledge to cook the sometimes “weird” food found at a farmers’ market, like parsnips and rutabagas, and to minimize meat and dairy, which tend to be pricey

I don’t automatically appreciate my situation yet, but it’s something I’m working toward. Emily gave several ideas of how we might go about this (here) and suggested all interested parties pick one to work on for a two week stretch. Wanting to find out more about our new area, Erik and I signed up to “identify one awesome group that enables equitable food access.”

After a little internet searching, we decided on Community Servings. Community Servings is a multifaceted organization providing:

  1. Meal delivery to families and individuals with critical and chronic illnesses. Each meal is respectful of special dietary needs and cultural situations and is designed to promote healing
  2. Nutrition care and education
  3. Food service job training for those who face obstacles to entering the workforce
  4. Culturally appropriate and nutritious meals to schools and other nonprofits that serve vulnerable populations (sold through their social enterprise to subsidize free services)
  5. Access to local food to its neighbors through CSAs, local fish shares, a farmers’ market, and on-site herb garden.

Whew! That’s a lot! So, does it meet the criteria of the challenge? Yes! Is it “awesome”? Undoubtedly. Does it enable equitable food access? Certainly!

I’m really excited about this organization, so I think I’ll “work as an ally (i.e., supporting member) with that awesome group I identified” in the next round of the Community Challenge. Leave a comment if you’re interested in joining me!

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