This Saturday, October 16, is World Food Day, a day on which to take action to end hunger — in one’s neighborhood, one’s country and around the world.
In the early dawn hours this Saturday, I’ll be riding a bus with dozens of other food justice activists headed first to a seafood cooperative and then to a local farmers’ cooperative in southern Mississippi. This is one of many exciting encounters that will be happening this weekend in connection with the Community Food Security Coalition’s annual conference in New Orleans (stay tuned for next week's posts from the field!).
In New Orleans, PAN and other coalition partners will also be launching the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance. Emerging out of the U.S. Working Group on the Food Crisis, the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance will be the first of its kind in the United States. It's composed of food justice, anti-hunger, labor, environmental, and faith-based groups, all working to end poverty, rebuild local food economies, and assert democratic control over the food system. Holding food as a human right and linking local and national struggles to the international movement for food sovereignty, the Alliance will be a nexus of hope and action.
Call to Action
This week, the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance has put out a Call to Action to individuals and food justice groups to join together in community events that educate, celebrate, and create affordable access to safe, healthy, and culturally appropriate food. In this way, we can revitalize our local food systems, rebuild strong local economies and begin reclaiming control of our food from the handful of corporations that have made such a mess of things. With the call to action, we also join La Via Campesina — a global movement fighting for food sovereignty and agrarian reform — in making food justice and democracy a reality at home.
Please join me, the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance and the global movement for food sovereignty by taking local action. Some ideas to get started:
- Dig in: Help build a healthy and fair food web where you live. Every dollar spent supporting local farmers and food businesses creates employment, self-reliance and prosperity for your community. Support local farmers' markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), farmer and food justice organizations. Grow a garden yourself or join with others to start a community garden.
- Have fun! Celebrate and organize community meals with neighbors, local chefs, gardeners, farmers, and others to build community and talk about making “Good Food”—food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable— accessible for all. Grub It Up parties are a great way to go.
- Stand in solidarity: Support Coalition of Immokalee Worker’s Campaign for Fair Food against supermarkets that refuse to pay higher wages to farm workers.
- Speak out! Tell the Justice Department what you think about corporate control of your food: join thousands who have sent letters in response to the public hearings on monopoly control in the food and agriculture sector (sample letters here).
- Learn More: find out how your local efforts are part of the worldwide movement for food sovereignty.