Whole Community Project
A program of Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County, the mission of the Whole Community Project (WCP) was to facilitate collaborative efforts to support the health and well-being for everyone in Tompkins County, be a place of dialogue and action for all the communities that make up Tompkins County, and enabling the whole, diverse community to make a difference. The Food Dignity project’s PI and Director, Christine Porter, became familiar with WCP’s move into sustainable community food system work to increase food security as part of her own research as a PhD student at Cornell. She and WCP’s community organizer and director, Jemila Sequeira, shared conversations that helped frame the research questions of the Food Dignity research project. WCP was deeply invested in the often hidden social constructs behind poverty and food insecurity—in particular matters of equity related to race and class—ensuring that its widened reach into sustainable food systems work was driven by that awareness. Throughout the five years of the Food Dignity project implementation, WCP enriched its Gardens 4 Humanity project, its presence at the Congo Square Farmers Market in Ithaca, innovative mentoring programs, and ongoing community education programs leading to economic development within the community and in support of individual entrepreneurs.