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.
- The Walking Fish cooperative in North Carolina runs a "community-supported fishery" based off of the more traditional community-supported agriculture model. Members pay in full for a season of weekly fish shares. A share might include anything from shrimp to tuna. The organization promotes environmental stewardship by partnering with sustainable fisheries, helps boost the local economy of North Carolina, and promotes a positive relationship between the state's urban and rural communities. The group has pick-ups in Raleigh and Durham.
- The Edible Schoolyard network works to create garden and cooking curricula that can be incorporated into classrooms for students in kindergarten through high school. Founded in Berkeley by Alice Waters in 2005, the program now has six operating program sites across the country. Waters believes that kitchens and gardens should be educational spaces for students, and that all students are entitled to a healthy, free, organic lunch. Their online resources are available to anyone who wants to start a food curriculum in their local school.
- Sea2Table is a Brooklyn-based organization that works to connect fisherman from across the country to chefs who are seeking out sustainably-caught fresh fish. The Sea2Table founders noticed that fisherman often docked without an obvious market for their product, and chefs were similarly unaware of the fish supply in their region. Sea2Table is a middleman distributor of sustainably-caught fish that moves fish from both coasts to chefs across the country.
- In Jackson, Wyoming, Vertical Harvest hopes to take a novel approach to helping the disabled community through food production. In its proposed vertical greenhouse, Vertical Harvest would produce for the Jackson community year-round. The organization would employ individuals with disabilities to manage the planting and growth of these crops. This would equip disabled community members with valuable skills, as well as provide food for locals. VH is nearly ready to begin construction, and is looking for donors to support their construction efforts.
- School Food FOCUS (Food Options for Children in Urban Schools) works on creating comprehensive plans for schools to improve the quality of food on offer to students. The group helps schools leverage their purchasing power to bring more local, sustainable, nutritious foods to their students. They also work on research projects and create policy recommendations. The group is funded in part by the Kellogg Foundation.
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.