© 2018 Food Dignity

 

Lessons about remaking food systems

Our primary research question in Food Dignity was: how do, can and should communities work to create more sustainable, equitable and food secure communities? Over more than five years in this community-university project collaboration, we examined how each of the five partnering community-based organizations (CBOs) catalyze and support their work towards that goal. More provisionally, we explored drivers, outcomes and lessons. Our core method was case studies with each CBO (see Research Methods.)

Among these five food justice CBOs in the US, five of the top findings include that they:

  1. Do food work largely a means to community transformation and justice ends                                           (Food Dignity Collaborative Pathway Models, Gaechter & Porter 2018, Porter 2018a)

  2. Organize their work with people and communities at the center, not food and food systems. For example, leaders devote extensive expertise and time to networking, mentoring, leadership development and ethical framing shifts.                                                                                                                             (ibid, Hargraves 2018)

  3. Within food system activities, focus mainly on food production, sharing and marketing; with some food processing                                                                                                                                                 (Food Dignity Collaborative Pathway Models, Porter 2018a).

  4. Produce high-quality food in nutritionally and socially meaningful quantities with and for their communities                                                                                                                                              (Conk & Porter 2016; Porter 2018b; Gregory, Leslie, & Drinkwater 2016)

  5. Face unattainable expectations for their work to transform communities and food systems without any systemic institutional funding support                                                                                    (Woodsum 2018; Daftary-Steel et al. 2017; Daftary-Steel, Herrera & Porter 2015)

 

The most definitive answers to the “how” questions, along with why, are embodied the five collaborative pathway models that each CBO co-produced (see below). Each model outlines the CBO’s activities and links them to actual and desired outcomes.

 

More about the work of each CBO, and the individuals that lead them, are in the Communities Remaking Food Systems section of this website. (See also: Paths to Food Dignity videos 2015, Hargraves 2018, Porter 2018a, Daftary-Steel et al. 2017, Daftary-Steel & Gervais 2014, Bradley & Galt 2014, Porter 2013).

See:

  • Food Dignity Collaborative Pathway Models:

    • Blue Mountain Associates, Sutter, Hargraves & Denning. (2017). Blue Mountain Associates: Food Dignity project, a collaborative pathway model.

    • Dig Deep Farms, Neideffer, Hargraves & Denning. (2017). Dig Deep Farms in its larger context, a collaborative pathway model. 

    • East New York Farms!, Vigil, Hargraves & Denning. (2017). East New York Farms! a collaborative pathway model. 

    • Feeding Laramie Valley, Woodsum, Hargraves & Denning. (2017). Feeding Laramie Valley: a collaborative pathway model. 

    • Whole Community Project, Sequeira, Hargraves & Denning.  (2017). Whole Community Project: a collaborative pathway model. 

  • Paths to Food Dignity. (2015) A collection of first-person digital stories by members of Food Dignity

    • Seeing Differently by Sarita Daftary-Steel of East New York Farms!, United Community Centers, Brooklyn, New York.

    • My Food Justice Story Starts Here by Daryl Marshall of East New York Farms!, United Community Centers, Brooklyn, New York.

    • An Agricultural Place by David Vigil of East New York Farms!, United Community Centers, Brooklyn, New York.

    • Sankofa by Jemila Sequeira of Whole Community Project, Cornell Cooperative Extension-Tompkins County, Ithaca, New York.

    • Roots Rising by Damon Brangman of Whole Community Project, Cornell Cooperative Extension-Tompkins County, Ithaca, New York.

Resources

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