This past June, WhyHunger and partners hosted representatives from La Via Campesina in North America and the Caribbean who were in NYC to discuss their work and personally invite funders and foundations to participate in building grassroots democracy.
La Via Campesina is the largest social movement in the world, with a membership of over 250 million farming and fishing families representing 150 organizations in 70 countries. They work in solidarity to preserve rural culture and tradition and to defend the rights of indigenous people, women, small- and medium-scale farmers and fishermen around the world. Members of La Via Campesina work at every level in society, from supporting families locally, to meeting with regional, national and international government officials. [read entire article…]
It’s election season- do you know where your local politicians are?! With elections looming this fall, many politicians are more eager than ever to lend an ear to local issues. What better time to make yourself heard? Are you trying to start a farmers’ market in your town? Do you wonder why your local grocery store doesn’t sell fresh produce from the neighboring farms? Does it bother you that kids are being fed processed, empty calories in our public school systems?
Now’s the time to let our civic leaders know what’s important about communities having a say in the local food system! Communities across the country are getting active about their food system- hosting information sessions, listening sessions, community potlucks for their candidates. They are asking for support, advocating for fair food policies, and getting involved in the healthy future of their communities. What are you doing in your community to raise the voice of food justice? Leave us a comment and let’s get ready to vote!
Mississippi gubernatorial candidate, Bill Luckett (center in the white shirt) visits with local farmers in his home territory of the Delta. The farmers, including “Doc” Davis (left of Luckett in red), and Frank Wilbourne (far right) are affiliated with the Delta Fresh Foods Initiative (DFFI)- a network of individuals, organizations and institutions working to increase access to fresh healthy food in the Delta. Luckett has reached out to DFFI and the emerging MS Food Policy Council as an advocate for fair food policies in a community supported almost exclusively by agriculture. Click here to see his press release in support of growing local food systems.
It was a snowy day in April 2002. I was an eleven-year-old kid from East New York, Brooklyn, and I was running to catch up to the bus to take me to my first internship. It was a typical story: a kid not really knowing what he was getting into or becoming a part of.
Sarity Daftary (far right), Phillip Scott (middle) and I at the 2005 RIC conference
But I knew how fortunate I was to be picked. East New York Farms! recruited at various middle schools in the neighborhood. Applications went out every year and fewer than half of them turned into internships. Pressure. My brother had been in the program the year before: more pressure – a lot of pressure for an eleven-year-old who just wanted a pair of Air Jordan’s. Some people dream of winning the Olympics or becoming President, but my goal of immediate material satisfaction from a pair of Jordan’s was the reason I needed to make that bus. [read entire article…]
Mississippi summer AmeriCorps VISTAs are working hard to build, cultivate and promote community gardens across the Delta. Kelsey Herman (26, Shelby, MS) (right), and Courtney Bankhead (25, Belzoni, MS) (left), are pictured here with Leland Community Garden manager, Jesse Tyler. Both of them learned their gardening skills from their grandparents and are committed to passing their knowledge on to the community.
(from left) Kelsey, Jesse, Courtney, Ryan Betz (Project Manager, Delta Health Alliance), Timothy Branch (Garden Cultivator, Belzoni Community Garden) tour the progress in the Belzoni Community Garden, Bezoni, MS. Ten local garden members are working to plant summer crops, including a fruit orchard. This month the garden will erect a shade pavillion to create a space for community gatherings.