Building Food Security

A call to action.

Food security. Some people think that's just a fancy term for feeding the hungry, but it really means a bit more than that. The conversation about food security also includes the reliability and sustainability of your supply chain.

One of the problems that Covid has brought to light is that people who can afford to hoard do, and in doing so they interrupt the supply chain. This puts people who are living paycheck-to-paycheck in a tough spot because they can't afford "stocking up."

The liberal solution to hunger is assistance in the form of food stamps and food banks. While these types of programs are necessary due to the shortcomings of capitalism, they don't address this problem and they aren't sustainable. In fact, they really don't work for a lot of people.

Some people just don't have the equipment to cook. I know this isn't going to make sense to people who have always had enough, but I have actually had to crowdsource for pots for people to warm up the food we send because they didn't have one and couldn't afford one.

Also many people don't know what to do with a lot of the food they get from food banks. I know for a fact that a lot of that food gets passed on to "someone who knows what to do with it" because I am one of those people. Some people just don't have time. Honestly, it's kind of ridiculous to think that a single mom who is working two jobs just to pay rent and utilities is ever going to have time to deal with turning dried navy beans and cans of mushroom soup into a meal.

So a grassroots "food for the people" initiative has to dig deeper and look at what we need to create food security in our community. ICMA believes we need three groups of people to make this happen:

We need local growers like Derek at Echollective Farms and Abey at Prism Farms who are dedicated to getting food to the people and we need to figure out ways to support them.

We need people who are into processing, canning, and preserving food so the food that is grown doesn't go to waste and can be used during the winter.

We need people who are willing to cook that food into meals for people who don't have well-equipped kitchens or know how to cook while working to address those issues.

This might sound far-fetched to a lot of you, but right now about 1/4 of the food that the mutual aid collective is sharing with neighbors is working it's way through this system. Wouldn't it be cool if we could double that next year? As the harvest is winding down and our gardeners and preservers have more time, ICMA would like to invite the community to a discussion about creating food security. Please fill out this form with your availability so we can pick a date that works for the most people.