Food for Change: 5 Food Groups Doing Great Work
Editor's note: In "Food for Change," we'll profile groups out there connecting people to better food access. In this series we want to applaud the passionate people and organizations doing meaningful work with food in their communities. Please share tips for others to include in this column in the comments below.
- Move For Hunger is a New Jersey-based group that is addressing a very specific problem: they collect non-perishable food items from people's homes when they move. The founder, Adam Lowy, has experience with this issue from working at his family's moving company. He noticed that people who were moving would generally throw away food in their pantries rather than seek out a donation spot. So, Lowy founded MFH in 2009 and partnered with moving companies around the country to help eliminate that food waste. MFH-partnered companies will pick up non-perishables and deliver them to local food pantries.
- Corbin Hill Farm is a network of farms in upstate New York. The farmers supply the CHF Farm Share program, which provides reasonably-priced produce to Harlem and Bronx residents. The Farm Share program also has a subsidized-price option and offers several payment plans. This model reduces the economic barrier to local food substantially. CHF also runs its own 90-acre farm in upstate New York. Each week, farmers deliver their food to that farm, which is then packed up and delivered to distribution sites in New York City.
- Cultivate Kansas City is working to develop a more sustainable food system within their communities. The goal of the organization is to create a more hospitable environment for small urban farms; educate community members on the importance of eating locally and seasonally; and use alternative food production systems to provide jobs and economic opportunities for the city. The organization was formed in 2005 as a non-profit to support urban agriculture and has since expanded to other projects as well.
- Institutions can be huge change-makers in the food purchasing world. If colleges, hospitals, and school systems decide to switch to sustainable foods, it can make a huge economic impact. Farm to College tracks farm-to-table initiatives on college campuses across the country. Their extensive graphs and forms from various institutions shows how much sustainable purchasing is happening and how students are involved in making real change. Farm to College is an initiative of the Community Food Security Coalition.
- FarmPlate is a searchable directory of over 40,000 food artisans and producers. By simply entering your zipcode or the type of food you're looking for, you can find nearby operations that source or produce "real foods". The website contains a glossary of terms and other fun education tools. Producers and retailers can also use the network to connect with other local businesses.
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.