One of the things I've become passionate about over the years is helping needy families receive food. There are still many hungry families right in my own city who need food and either have limited or no access. Food banks and local pantries go a long way to helping the hungry, but don't completely fulfill the need. Additionally fresh fruits and vegetables, necessary for good nutrition, are always in short supply. Not to mention what does reach people is often grown using pesticides. If you can afford it, you can get organic produce. Of course when you're a family in crisis already giving up meals and trying to get by on little money, organic is not high on the list of priorities for how your food is grown. I would like to help families in my local community have access to good food, healthy organic food, that will allow them to thrive as well as help educate families on good nutrition. Right now my biggest obstacle is knowing where to start.
I have done some research into food justice organizations in my area, but it seems there are few organizations aiming at getting quality produce into the hands of needy families. The local food bank takes donated food and redistributes it, including fresh produce, but there isn't anyone focused primarily on fresh, organic produce distribution. I also am unfamiliar with all of the local organic producers in my area and the best way to coordinate with them to get a higher percentage of organic produce to the hungry.
To overcome this, my first step is research. I need to know the systems of food distribution for the hungry in much more depth. A good start is to make asolid connections with my local food bank. I already volunteer with them which is a good way to ask questions and meet the right people. Perhaps I can volunteer specifically with them to increase the amount of organic produce available for them to distribute. Find out what programs they have to educate families on making healthy meals. I can also start researching and contacting local organic farmers. Ask the right questions such as do they donate crops already. If they don't or only give a small amount, find out what could encourage them to donate more.
As a community spanning the globe, I see Pulse Wire as my way of finding what has worked and what hasn't for other women who have done what I'm seeking to do. The ladies on these boards can give me ideas, advice, and if I should move toward an organization outside the ones available to me, help me get my footing. In addition, the social media networks of Web 2.0 (Twitter, Facebook, even MySpace) have helped me raise funds and food in the past. I can use the network I've built thus far in conjunction with Pulse Wire to further the work I want to do and attain my goals.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change.