Food System Focus Area: Policy, Advocacy and Organizing

Recap: Seeding Power event

On December 4th, CFF partnered with Philanthropy New York, Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders, and Surdna Foundation to host a briefing on three new leadership development programs in the food and farming sector. Navina Khanna, Director of the HEAL Food Alliance, spoke about their School of Political Leadership that supports 10 food and farm justice leaders with the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to run for office, work on campaigns, and drive political change. Next, Farzana Serang, Executive Director of the Castanea Fellowship, described how Castanea will provide a diverse cohort of leaders with the time, space, and resources they need to connect and innovate on long-term solutions that can foster vibrant communities and the creation of a more equitable, sustainable, and healthy food system. Lastly, Adam Liebowitz, Director of Community Food Funders, outlined the new Seeding Power Fellowship for experienced food justice leaders working across sectors to build equitable food systems in New York City, the Hudson Valley, and Long Island.

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Securing a Seat at the NEASDA / NASDA Table

CFF is working with Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders (SAFSF) and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) to ensure the presence of 'good food' advocates at the annual meetings convening the heads of state departments of agriculture. The following letter was shared with the wider CFF network on behalf of Christine James, Executive Director of the John Merck Fund.

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Recap: Food as a Community Building Tool

CFF partnered with Philanthropy New York to host a briefing about community-building practices that use food as the primary tool. Rick Luftglass (Executive Director, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund) moderated a panel comprised of Ben Thomases (Executive Director, Queens Community House), Robin Berger (Interim Executive Director, Just Food), and Nicholas Freudenberg (Director, CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute). This program intentionally drew a distinction between community building and community organizing, while recognizing that those lines are often blurred.

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Food As A Community-Building Tool, 12/8

Join a panel of practitioners and evaluators to hear about successes in using food to engage their respective communities to advance communal health, support community members to become leaders and advocates, and cultivate a more just food environment for community members.

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Urban Agriculture & Social Justice Activism, 10/5

A new book by Kristin Reynolds and Nevin Cohen, Beyond the Kale: Urban Agriculture and Social Justice in New York City, argues that urban agricultural projects focused explicitly on dismantling oppressive systems have the greatest potential to achieve substantive social change. Please join us for a casual evening of wine and cheese and a discussion with the authors of Beyond The Kale.

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Recap: South Bronx Learning Tour

On August 4th, CFF and Philanthropy New York hosted a day-long South Bronx Learning Tour to highlight people and organizations using food as a vehicle to bring residents together and catalyze change in their neighborhoods. Twenty-five funders participated in the bus tour that included six stops and nine organizations across the South Bronx. Working on issues such as restorative justice, female empowerment, youth development, economic development, health and nutrition, and more, these groups were growing food, cooking meals, working with bodegas, running farmers’ markets, and creating buying clubs to achieve their goals.

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