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Food Security

A Mobile Food Pantry Meets Refugees Where They Are

It started at a kitchen table more than 15 years ago. In 2008, Greensboro mother of two Kristy Milholin noticed signs of food insecurity among her daughters’ classmates at Morehead Elementary School. She and her husband, Don Milholin, took it upon themselves to pack up bags of free food for several local families every Friday. “She went into mom mode. She couldn’t see kids go hungry,” says Beth Crise, who is the president and executive director of Out of the Garden project, the nonprofit that the Milholins founded after receiving increased requests from families in need.

Urban Agriculture In The Heart Of Caracas

Urban agriculture gardens, inspired by methods developed during Cuba’s special period, are being used to promote food security in Venezuela.

The Israeli Agricultural Industry: A Strategic Weakness

Since the beginning of the brutal war waged by the Zionist enemy on Gaza, the agricultural industry in the Zionist entity has witnessed a significant shortage of agricultural labor. The Israeli government issued a decree prohibiting Palestinian workers—some of whom work in the agricultural sector—from entering the Occupied Territories. This was accompanied by the departure of around 8,000 Thai workers from the Occupied Territories at the beginning of the war. This crisis posed a challenge for Zionist farmers, especially in the Gaza Envelope.

Moving Into The Agrihood

Outside of Charleston, South Carolina, in the picturesque marshes of the Kiawah River, sits more than 100 acres of working farmland. Seasonal crops rotate through expansive pastures, cattle graze the rich sea grasses and several colonies of bees hurry about their business. But unlike neighboring farms that focus on production for faraway markets or keep a single family afloat, the farm at Kiawah River is supporting 185 families who live in the surrounding homes. Kiawah River is an “agrihood”—a planned community with a working farm at its center.

The Case For Universal Basic Food

Food is many things in our lives. It’s a cultural connector, bridging relationships with people, places, and our heritage. Food is medicine, providing us with nutrients integral to our well-being. It’s also a renewable resource; the way we grow, transport and consume food directly impacts our climate and local environment. Above all, food is a human right. Yet our food system only values food for one thing: profit. It’s become an industrialized machine that prioritizes cheap production and corporate gains over the well-being of people, local economies, and the environment. In this pursuit of maximum financial gain, food has been reduced to a mere commodity.

Native Seed Network Takes Root In The Northeast

Land managers and restoration practitioners have long been concerned about the scarcity of native seeds required for restoring ecosystems. Whether sourced from soil seed banks, existing native plant populations or commercial vendors, the demand for native seeds consistently outstrips the available supply. In January 2023, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a 228-page report, underscoring the urgent need to increase native seed supplies to restore damaged ecosystems in the United States.

Other Avenues Grocery Cooperative

From a collection of neighborhood clubs called the Food Conspiracy, whose motto was, "If you can't walk to Food Conspiracy, it's time for a new Food Conspiracy," to the People's Food System, which included Other Avenues, Rainbow Grocery, Veritable Vegetable, and other co-ops that don't exist anymore, there's proof all over today that cooperative models work. We like the sound of that, in fact, compared to competitive businesses. Other Avenues' doors opened in 1974. By 1987, a hybrid system of worker and community management was adopted. And the worker-owned model that exists today started back in 1999.

How Do You Buy Groceries When There’s No Grocery Store?

When a new mobile grocery market launched in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, its first stop was Maple City Apartments, a 40-unit complex for low-income, elderly relatives. Maple City’s residents have felt the region’s lack of grocery stores acutely. The nearest full-service grocery store is at least five miles away,[1] which leaves few options for people who don’t have access to a car or good public transit. But the County’s residents can now buy groceries from a farmers market on wheels. It started when the Cooperage Project, a regional nonprofit organization, wanted to get fresh, healthy food to people during the pandemic, rather than having them settle for the shelf-stable, highly processed options that chain dollar stores offer.

The Gulf Islands Food Co-Op

The Gulf Islands Food Co-op was created in 2018 to foster inter-island co-operation and develop new resources and practical supports for food producers and consumers on Galiano, Mayne, Pender and Saturna islands (the Southern Gulf Islands SGI). The co-op’s main goals are to help sustainably increase island food production, food security and resilience by encouraging the growing and purchasing of local food. Its initiatives range from educational programs, such as “healthy soils and regenerative agriculture,” to sharing of local resilient seeds, supporting an Indigenous Venison/Deer workshop offered by The Galiano Conservancy Association, bulk buying of farm supplies, setting up free tables for producers at local markets and supporting growers donating to local food banks.

Cuba’s Worsening Food Crisis Means US Blockade Must End Now, Not Later

At a meeting in Havana on August 11 attended by government ministers and the press, Cuban National Assembly President Esteban Lazo communicated a message to Cuba’s Minister of Agriculture from the Assembly, whose recent session ended on July 22. The ministry would be “transforming and strengthening the country’s agricultural production,” to initiate “a political and participatory movement that would unleash a productive revolution in the agricultural sector.” The National Assembly dealt primarily with Cuba’s present food disaster. The lives of many Cubans are precarious due to food shortages, high prices, and low income.

Poorer Nations Break The Cycle Of Dependency That Has Inflicted Grief

In late July, I visited two settlements of the Landless Rural Workers (MST) on the outskirts of São Paulo (Brazil). Both settlements are named for brave women, the Brazilian lawmaker Marielle Franco – who was assassinated in 2018 – and Irmã Alberta – an Italian Catholic nun who died in 2018. The lands where the MST has built the Marielle Vive camp and the Irmã Alberta Land Commune were slated for a gated community with a golf course, and a garbage dump, respectively. Based on the social obligations for land use in the Brazilian Constitution of 1988, the MST mobilised landless workers to occupy these areas, build their own homes, schoolhouses and community kitchens, and grow organic food.

The Campaign For An Amsterdam Food Park

Why is Amsterdam, a city famous for its progressive culture, so determined to build a big-box distribution center on a 60-hectare plot of unspoiled land on the edge of the city? Despite the obvious downsides of the idea, politicians and city officials seem more eager to cater to the Amazon retailers of the world than to plan for climate disruption, a carbon-frugal economy, and wiser land use. The City seems poised to sell or lease the public’s crown jewels – land – on behalf of a world of economic growth, consumerism, and carbon emissions. Thanks to a spirited campaign by thousands of Amsterdam citizens, however, an alternative future for the land may yet materialize.

In Africa, The ‘Powerful, Political Act’ Of Agroecological Farming

Red amaranth, which provides a protein boost for pregnant mothers; spider plant, which is believed to inhibit the growth of cancer cells; and eggobe, which is said to be handy for treating diabetes and hypertension. These are just some of the fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat and other produce sold by farmers at a recent ‘Earth Market’ in Nkokonjeru, a trading centre to the east of Uganda’s capital, Kampala. The weekly market (which, at the time of publishing this article, is on hiatus) allows local growers to sell their agroecological produce – including those that are at risk of extinction, rare or Indigenous – directly to buyers.

Global Hunger Remains Far Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

Anywhere between 691 million and 783 million people across the globe faced hunger in 2022, according to this year’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report published by five specialized agencies of the UN on Wednesday, July 12. As per the report, even with the mid-range figure of 735 million, around “122 million more people faced hunger in 2022 than in 2019, before the pandemic,” despite the fact that “hunger is no longer on the rise at the global level.” The report records that 9.2% of the world’s population faced chronic hunger in 2022, compared to 7.9% in 2019. The figure is slightly better than 2021 when it stood at 9.3%.

How To Build A Bank To Scale Up Local Food Ecosystems

Charley Cummings had a vision of creating a new, sustainable, local food system. In 2013 he and his wife started their own company in Concord, New Hampshire, delivering grass-fed beef and pasture-raised pork and chicken purchased from farmers in the region and delivered directly to consumers. Along the way, he’s found farmers, food processors, distributors and consumers who are excited to be part of it. But the banks haven’t been interested. “There were farmers and also other types of food businesses, processors and things that wanted to scale alongside us, but seem to have trouble accessing the right type of capital,” says Cummings, who previously worked in commercial composting and management consulting.
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