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.
On November 1st, CFF partnered with The Marcus Foundation and SAFSF to host a briefing about the living and working conditions faced by most farmworkers in the US, and food certification programs that are trying to address and ameliorate these issues. Jessica Culley described the work of the Farmworkers Support Committee (CATA), a grassroots member-led organization. CATA was also a founding member of the Agricultural Justice Project that issues the "Food Justice Certified" label. Peter O'Driscoll talked about the Equitable Food Initiative and all it has accomplished in the past five years with its "Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured" label that comes only as the result of multi-stakeholder engagement and agreements across the supply chain. And Michael Rozyne talked about his years in the farming and food distribution business with Red Tomato, what it will take to maintain farms in our region, and a pilot project he is engaging in with EFI in Connecticut to explore the model on smaller farms.
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.
On October 4, CFF partnered with WhyHunger and Philanthropy New York to host a meeting titled Big Hunger about the new book by Andy Fisher, Big Hunger The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America And Anti-Hunger Groups. Following a presentation about his research and findings, Andy was joined on a panel by Liz Schalet of Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger and filmmaker Lori Silverbush. The panel was moderated by Alison Cohen of WhyHunger. You can find a video recording of the briefing below.
On June 1st, over 60 CFF members got together with some of our partners in the field and the public sector at Project Farmhouse for the 5th CFF Annual Gathering. Delicious drinks and appetizers were supplied by Cleaver Co. while people...
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.
On October 5th, CFF hosted a reception called Urban Agriculture & Social Justice Activism to celebrate the launch of a new book, Beyond the Kale: Urban Agriculture and Social Justice Activism in New York City by Kristin Reynolds and Nevin Cohen. You can find a video recording of the briefing below.