"The Free Farm Stand, located in the Mission district of San Francisco, distributes free food through gifting organic fruits, vegetables, and locally made breads every weekend.
"The food is sourced from produce that goes unsold at farmer’s markets, and from neighborhood and community gardens, and also from public and private fruit trees. Additionally, they help grow food on donated land. The Free Farm Stand builds community and provides a meeting place for locals on tight budgets.
"Most learn about the Free Farm Stand by word-of-mouth as there is little to no press and barely enough information online to even deduce the time and place of the weekly event. On distribution days people start arriving around noon and request a number which will be used to admit groups of ten at a time. Many folks picnic or sit in circles on the grass and talk while they wait their turn. There is no sense that this is any sort of hand-out or cattle call, but rather a way to connect to the community, get needed food, and foster a sense of belonging."
Written by Chelsea Rustrum, and excerpted from the book It's a Shareable Life. Read the full article here.
"These Black farmers don’t stop at healthy food. They’re healing trauma, instilling collective values, and changing the way their communities think about the land.
"In 1982, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights extrapolated the statistics on land loss and predicted the extinction of the Black farmer by the year 2000.
"They were wrong. While the situation is still dire, with Black farmers comprising only about 1 percent of the industry, we have not disappeared. After more than a century of decline, the number of Black farmers is on the rise.
"These farmers are not just growing food, either. The ones you’ll meet here rely on survival strategies inherited from their ancestors, such as collectivism and commitment to social change. They infuse popular education, activism, and collective ownership into their work."
Written by Leah Penniman for YES! Magazine. Read the full article here.
"Charging well-off patrons more allows St. Louis’ MetroMarket to sell groceries to the most food insecure at cost.
“'We’re treating food like medicine because it very much is,' said Jeremy Goss, a Saint Louis University medical student and one of the founders of MetroMarket, along with Washington University graduates Colin Dowling and Tej Azad.
"There’s often the perception that the highly food insecure should settle for eating lower-quality food than those with means—think of the cupboard fruit-cocktail castoff donated to the local food pantry. But no one’s confusing government cheese with aged Irish cheddar. By operating on a sliding pay scale in areas of varying need, MetroMarket is making a quiet but powerful statement with its model: Everyone deserves to eat great food."
Written by Sarah McColl for TakePart. Read the full article here.
"At this point in the campaign race, we know the candidates' beliefs on issues like war, immigration and Wall Street. But what about food?
I wrangled all the information I could find--from tweets to votes--to see where the candidates stand on issues of food policy. Keep in mind, I'm not saying who's right or wrong, just pulling together quotes and votes to help us understand how each candidate views the issues."
Written by Eve Turow Paul for HuffPost Politics. Read the full article here.
"CHESTER — A federal official toured the nation’s only non-profit grocery store Friday morning, calling it a successful example of improving food access to low-income communities.
Fare and Square is a 16,000 square foot non-profit grocery store owned and operated by Philabundance. Constructed in a vacant store at 9th and Trainer streets in Chester, the store has been in operation for about four months with 69 employees, 82 percent of which are Chester residents. Undersecretary of Agriculture Kevin Concannon toured the facility Friday, eager to learn about the store’s operations."
Read the full article on Fare and Square's Website here.
"While important work is being funded through the agency’s local foods grants, it’s important to note that $34.3 million for local food is only a drop in the bucket of the USDA’s overall 2016 budget of $156 billion. Allocations for commodity crops will be $14.2 billion next year, plus $8.2 billion in crop insurance, both programs favoring conventional, industrial agriculture."
By: Leah Penniman, for YES! Magazine. Read the full article here.
Clare Hintz of Elsewhere Farm in Herbster, Wisconsin, has compiled research of women farmers in the Midwest. Visit the Women Farmers Practicing Regenerative Agriculture website to hear their stories and view galleries of their farms.
"Women farmers in the U.S. are more likely than men to adopt more ecologically-based practices on their farms. How do these farmers learn the values and skills that shape their work? Despite decades of scientific work on agroecosystems, very little research includes the farmer as a part of the system and even less research describes the experiences of women farmers. That means that the bulk of women’s experiences are missing from programs to train new farmers. Yet women farmers are on the leading edge of innovation in agriculture."
Read more here.
"As I grew to adulthood and began a family of my own, I realized that this little farm was more than just a pastoral dream. It was an antidote to industrial food, climate change, harried living and social injustices. But how was one little grassfed livestock farm high in the mountains going to support two families? I looked to my Appalachian neighbors, who had lived well up here for generations, with little to no cash. If they could do it, so could we. We would simply have to learn to make what we couldn’t buy. I would become the radical homemaker. I thought it was just a sensible choice. I didn’t know it would spark a revolution."
Read more from Shannon Hayes here.
From the Detroit Food Justice Task Force:
Principles of Food Sovereignty
By: Michael Pollan, for the New York Times. Read the full article here.
"1. Eat food. Though in our current state of confusion, this is much easier said than done. So try this: Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. (Sorry, but at this point Moms are as confused as the rest of us, which is why we have to go back a couple of generations, to a time before the advent of modern food products.) There are a great many foodlike items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food (Go-Gurt? Breakfast-cereal bars? Nondairy creamer?); stay away from these.
Each week we post articles, poems, and essays that relate to food sovereignty, health & wellbeing, and eating culture.