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.
- If you're interested in learning about sustainable agriculture through a hands-on experience, check out Farm Stay U.S. The agritourism site lists working farms that accept visitors for paid stays. In order to be listed, they must have a demonstrable commitment to sustainable practices. As a guest, you have an opportunity to learn directly from farmers, acquiring new skills while assisting with daily tasks. There are locations across the country, from ranches to vegetable farms, that welcome visitors. Farm stays can be a great way to experience an agricultural lifestyle while also supplementing the income of a farming family.
- Since 1981, the Southside Community Land Trust has been supporting the farmers and gardeners of Providence, Rhode Island. SCLT runs a 3/4-acre farm in the heart of Providence, facilitates agricultural education programs for city residents, and manages 16 community gardens across the city. The organization also hosts workshops on planting, composting, beekeeping, preserving, and more, serving as a hub for food activists, farmers, and students alike.
- In 2011, the Fit Kids Foundation was established to improve access to physical education for children. Fit Kids provides an 8-week fitness program that meets for an hour each week. By taking a fun and engaging approach to exercise and offering helpful nutritional tips, they hope to encourage participants to adopt and promote healthy living. The group is expanding to new schools and is currently accepting applications to become a Fit Kids coach.
- Genetically modified foods are a hot topic these days. The Genetic Engineering Action Network provides a space for knowledge sharing and collaboration between groups advocating increased government transparency and the disbandment of corporate monopolies over commercial food production. GEAN is dedicated to providing individuals with the tools to make informed decisions about their consumption and diets.
- The Healthy Farms, Healthy People Coalition works to organize policy initiatives in the food and agriculture sectors. Their priorities this year include increasing access to local food and promoting sustainable agricultural systems that are fair to farmers and laborers. On their website, you can find ways to get involved by contacting state or local representatives and engaging with any of their dozen member organizations.
About the Author: A student in Providence, Rhode Island, Leah Douglas loves learning about, talking about, reading about, and consuming food. Her other work can be found at her website.