Food for Change

Profiles on causes and organizations that are addressing issues of poverty, poor health, and food access.

Food for Change: 5 Food Groups Doing Great Work

  • The International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian organization, is helping new refugees find footing in the U.S. through farming. New Roots gives new immigrants the tools they need to start small agricultural businesses, engage in community education, and provide a healthy diet for their families. Thousands of refugees come to the U.S. each year with an agrarian background - New Roots helps them use their skills to provide culturally appropriate foods at farmers markets and to consumers across the country.
  • Based in Brooklyn, BK Farmyards is a group of urban farmers who farm small plots around the borough. They use these plots for educational and community-building activities. The farms are located at a local high school, in the unused backyards of community members, and in community plots. Farmyards is also actively seeking fertile land to farm, and are available for garden and farm consultation.
  • Most states have a vibrant agricultural community, but not all states are good at bringing attention to their diverse farming communities. Vermont is the exception, and the DigInVermont website sets a new standard for state agricultural pride. The organization is a collaboration among representatives from various agricultural and food-related initiatives from across the state. On the website, you can locate farms, find local food events, plan vacations to the area, and explore all the varied delicious things Vermont has to offer.
  • The Green Guerillas have been working across New York City to spread messages of sustainability and local agriculture for almost 40 years. The Guerillas are a group of artists, farmers, and activists who collaborate on garden projects, murals, and educational activities to maintain the city's "green" movement. From seed spreading to urban farm to community organizing, the group does a little bit of everything to make the city a more sustainable place.
  • In Austin, Texas, the Sustainable Food Center works on garden education and community building. They manage gardens in urban centers as well as at schools and community centers. The group also runs several large and successful farmer's markets, which have greatly benefited the agricultural community surrounding the city. In the past few years they've begun several more successful programs, including farm-to-work vegetable deliveries and cooking classes.

About the Author: A student in Providence, Rhode Island, Leah Douglas loves learning about, talking about, reading about, and consuming food. Her work has also been featured in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine.

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