Although the backbone of our food system, farmworkers are often marginalized in discussions about food and agriculture. Despite the upsurge in interest and consumption of organic, local, or certified produce, the working and living conditions for most farmworkers planting, picking, and packing fresh fruits and vegetables have remained largely as they have been for decades. Examining the nuts and bolts of creating just and equitable food and agriculture systems --- across diverse crops, geography, and scale --- our lunchtime discussion will also look at innovative opportunities for philanthropic resources to leverage the power of markets to drive change.
Author: Adam Liebowitz
On June 7th, over 50 CFF members gathered at Project Farmhouse for the 6th CFF Annual Gathering. Delicious Puerto Rican food was supplied by Liberation Cuisine, with drinks sponsored by Port Morris Distillery and Bronx Beer Hall. The evening featured a presentation by East New York Farms, our 2018 CFF Champions Award recipient, and a keynote panel on food system issues in Puerto Rico with frontline activists from the island.
On July 12th, CFF hosted an event called Pesticides in Paradise: How Hawaiian Communities Took on the Chemical Industry and Won. Food justice advocate and funder Anna Lappé opened with an overview of how she learned about this story and why she was drawn to get involved, and then Dr. Virginia Rauh presented her research on the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos and its public health impacts, including related chemical exposure from indoor spraying here in New York City. From there we heard from community activist Malia Chun about her community's personal history with the pesticide industry, and how that narrative fits in to the larger history of Hawaii post-contact with Western colonialists. Anna Frederick, Executive Director of Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA), then detailed the community organizing and statewide campaign that resulted in the country’s first ban on chlorpyrifos. Malia closed by discussing new nonprofits, especially on the most impacted island of Kaua'i, that have emerged as a result of this fight.
On June 25th, CFF partnered with Philanthropy New York to host an event called Unpacking Nutrition Education – Why It Matters for NYC Students covering the myriad ways nutrition education is addressed and offered in NYC schools, and significant value that these bring to a student’s physical, academic, and future well-being. Pamela Koch of the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy presented findings from their recently concluded reports, and was joined on a panel by Kelly Giordano of Newman’s Own Foundation and Tony Hillery of Harlem Grown. The panel was moderated by Bronwyn Starr of the New York State Health Foundation.
On May 16, CFF partnered with Soul Fire Farm and Philanthropy New York's Committee for Equitable and Inclusive Philanthropy to host a workshop titled Funding a Racially Just Food System. This event was the CFF Champions Award briefing, designed and created by our 2017 Award recipient, Soul Fire Farm. Leah Penniman, Co-Director of Soul Fire Farm, and Amani Olugbala, Assistant Director of Programs, guided over 30 funders through a history of racism and resistance in the food system followed by a workshop to help identify concrete next steps. You can find a video recording of the briefing below.
Join us on July 12th with longtime funder and advocate, when Anne Frederick, the executive director of the Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA), will talk about the long struggle for common sense regulation of pesticides in Hawaiʻi. Native Hawaiian mother, educator and cultural practitioner, Malia Chun will talk about living with her two daughters on the frontlines of the agrochemical test fields on the westside of Kauai and growing the next generation of culturally grounded leaders. And Dr. Virginia Rauh, the country’s foremost expert on the pesticide chlorpyrifos, will share her research on the public health impacts of this insecticide and what the ban in Hawaii means for the rest of the country.
Join us you for a conversation about the current status of nutrition education programs (NEPs) in NYC schools, as well as the characteristics, distribution, and policy context in which they operate. How can the funding community best leverage its resources and influence to achieve greater equity in nutrition education so that all students have access to these opportunities?
East New York Farms of has been named the winner of the 2018 Community Food Funders Champions Award! Seven funders in the CFF network, plus the 2017 winner Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm, comprised the selection committee. East New York Farms! was chosen in recognition of their food production and food access programming, indigenous leadership, youth engagement, and waste reduction practices; all which represent the triple bottom line approach to food systems change.
This year CFF is excited to be hosting our 6th Annual Gathering! Please join us to celebrate accomplishments from the past year and hear from your colleagues about different strategies being used to impact our regional food system, as well as celebrate this year's CFF Champions Award recipient! Whether your focus is on nutrition or hunger, food chain workers or farmland preservation, emergency food or food waste, we all have a part to play in creating the just food system that everyone deserves. We encourage your attendance whether you're a long-time CFF member or just entering the field of food systems change.
Join us on May 16th when Leah Penniman, Co-Director of Soul Fire Farm, will lead us in a data-rich, heart-centered, and hopeful conversation where we will generate concrete next steps toward our collective vision of a just and sustainable food system. Together we will explore how to make our organizational structures and grantmaking procedures more equitable and accountable to communities of color. Everyone will leave with a tangible and feasible action plan.