This is a call for all farmers to grow and donate, free of charge, wholesome and nutritious food to all those in need.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Deserts are defined as parts of the country lacking fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.
“This has become a big problem because while food deserts are often short on whole food providers, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, instead, they are heavy on local quickie marts that provide a wealth of processed, sugar, and fat laden foods that are known contributors to our nation’s obesity epidemic.“
One of the tenants of Sacred Agriculture is that: “Financial gain and profit should never motivate or influence our actions. Food is sacred and sacred things cannot be dignified in financial terms.“
The vegetable garden that I manage for the Southern Heart Homestead is located in Poplarville Mississippi, a Food Desert. Thus far, nature has been very generous and the garden is providing more food than we can eat. We have decided to help Feed the Desert Dwellers by donating food to local small businesses where people can obtain fresh herbs and vegetables free of charge.
This solution is a bottom-up initiative which contrasts with top-down government initiatives, such the federal program called the “Healthy Food Financing Initiative” (i.e. the $500 million failed anti-obesity campaign spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama), which provides loans and other resources to help grocery stores and other small businesses to “sell healthy food in communities that currently lack these options”. At a July 2011 press conference with execs from Walmart, Walgreens, and SuperValu, Michelle Obama heralded a pledge by those retailers to open or expand 1,500 stores in areas defined by the USDA to be “food deserts”.
“The first lady wants to expand her grocery campaign even further. “The companies represented here today are only a tiny fraction of the total number of food retailers in this country,” she told her audience at the White House event. “If they can step up and make these investments, then there is absolutely no reason why every food retailer in this country can’t find some way to get involved as well. Right? Can I get an Amen or something?” Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/20/anti-obesity-programs-fail-so-feds-try-again/#ixzz4ALhlm0vb“
WALMART to the rescue!
I don’t think so 😦
Recently someone asked the question, “What’s beyond the call for “cheap food” and can we achieve real food justice?”. My response was the following:
“Free food is beyond cheap food. Most adults cannot entertain the idea that food should be free for everyone. For the most part, we’ve been conditioned to accept that “one has to work for a living”, “money is the reward for work”, and that “food requires money”. However, I think it’s safe to assume that more and more people are coming to the realization that the current agricultural and economic models are incapable of emancipating humanity and are profoundly unsustainable. Does this mean people are capable and willing to do something about the situation?
Real food justice requires not only wisdom and generosity, but real food and real justice. Both these things are lacking in society. The justice system is bias to the interests of those who hold power and money, making it very unlikely that food justice will come from the top down. Indeed, food cartels and monopolies have influenced law makers so the justice system can be used to clamp down and prevent social initiatives that are detrimental to corporate bottom line (i.e. profits). It is not surprising to learn that there are laws prohibiting citizens from feeding the homeless in public areas. Additionally, most farmers-markets have rules against giving away free food. Authorities require that vendors sell their products at prices similar to that of other vendors (i.e. price fixing). Have you noticed how food in these markets is getting more and more expensive?
Food justice is not of this world, at least not at this time. There is enough money in circulation to feed everyone on the planet, but something wicked is preventing and holding genuine and selfless initiatives back. In lieu of something meaningful we have shameful social programs that provide more political benefits thought marketing puffery than useful assistance. Moreover, have you seen what is being distributed in food banks? I spent several months visiting numerous food banks to help the homeless in my area because they could not access the foodstuff. They were told that they needed “proof of residence”. Homeless people don’t have fixed addresses, so I would get the bags for them instead. Let me tell you that the foodstuff in these bags was, for the most part, utterly disgusting. I would never eat this kind of process and toxic food.
I could go on, but suffice to say that my direct involvement and research into the subject matter have taught me that if any food justice is going to occur, it will not come from top-down initiatives.”
A basket of fresh locally grown vegetable and herbs donated by The Southern Heart Homestead to The Coffee Shop in Poplarville, Mississippi.