Hungry for Justice

      2 Comments on Hungry for Justice

For our Group Action Project, my group decided to tackle the issue of food security. In order to host an educational, accessible and impactful event we decided to host a free documentary screening of “Food Justice: A Growing Movement,” a short documentary about a community in Oakland that is transforming and localizing their food system. This documentary covered various definitions of food justice as well as the farmers’ markets, community gardens and food co-op stores that provide healthy, affordable options in what was previously considered a food desert. At this event we also collected donations for the UW Campus Food Pantry, and the first 20 people to bring donations received free Chipotle. It is a little ironic to offer chipotle at an event advocating for affordable, healthy food, but a group member works at Chipotle and we figured this would be a good way to draw people into a larger discussion about food security.

We originally wanted to have a discussion panel following this screening, as well, but it was difficult to find professors or students who were willing to commit to this. Instead, after the screening our audience of about 20-25 people had discussions both as a larger group and with the few people sitting next to us. In my smaller discussion, I talked with other students about affordable, practical ways we might be able to localize our food sources here. We talked about growing snap peas in our apartments and buying from local farmers’ markets, but we agreed that it would take a larger community effort to make a substantial impact. It takes a village to restructure a neighborhood’s food system and increase equitable access, but in order to make larger strides for food justice around the globe we will have to evoke the Gaia theory and implement larger-scale movements for change.

Some members of the audience were involved with the UW student group Huskies for Food Justice, a group advocating for local, more ethically sourced foods on campus. Clearly relevant to our Hungry for Justice event, members of Huskies for Food Justice informed us of their current campaign and how their group envisions food justice in our community. Overall, I think our Group Action Project was successful because we were able to perform effective outreach to turn people out to our event, which also provided about 20 donations for the UW Food Pantry and meaningful discussion about how we, as students, struggle with food security and the steps we can take to create a more secure local food system.

2 thoughts on “Hungry for Justice

  1. Sara

    I think that your group action project topic is something that people are not very aware of and I think it is awesome you gathered donations for the UW Food Pantry. Something I have noticed since moving to Seattle is how expensive produce is here, and how hard it is to give everyone access to healthy options. I sympathize with you how difficult it is to to gather an audience for the project! Our group tried to do a screening and the first time around we have technical issues with the outlets, and we were not able to reach the audience we had hoped either. In the end it is really exciting you were able to collect donations and help people in need! I was unaware about the UW Food Pantry and would love to get involved and try and help other students.

  2. Corina Isabel Yballa

    Hey Sara! I agree that we hosted a successful event! Despite all the challenges that we encountered in partnering with food organizations on campus and in finding professors to speak, we were able to learn about the food justice movement in Oakland, get donations for the Food Pantry, and have a great discussion around food security after the screening. As someone who grew up in the SF Bay Area, I early on became aware of the tremendous progress community movements in my area were making in increasing food accessibility and food security. It was interesting to watch a documentary about the Bay Area food movement in 2007 and then being able to reflect on what that movement looks like today. I recently attended a talk at UW from Navina Khanna, one of the founders of Real Food Challenge and head of Oakland-based Heal Food Alliance. Her organization creates broad partnerships and aims to use “collective power to create food and farm systems that are healthy for our families, accessible and affordable for all communities, and fair to the hard-working people who grow, distribute, prepare, and serve our food — while protecting the air, water, and land we all depend on” ( Khanna was also a founder of Real Food Challenge, whose UW Chapter (Huskies for Food Justice) members were at our event. It was great to synthesize my experiences at Navina Khanna’s talk and those at this documentary screening. Thanks for all your work on our action project and congratulations on graduating, Sara!!!


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