Advocacy & Community Building
Most of our work is about supporting community residents to survive and thrive. To do that, sometimes we need to advocate and fight for better policies. To do that, we need to build as a community.
FEEST (Food Education Empowerment and Sustainability Team)
Our FEEST program is adapted from our friends at FEEST Seattle
. We pay a stipend to a small group of youth leaders to train in facilitation, cooking, and critical thinking skills. They then design and lead monthly dinners where they design a menu and prepare a meal from scratch. During each FEEST, these young people develop as leaders and engage in discussions and activities around food and other social justice issues that are affecting their lives. Our FEEST programming is growing, bringing more opportunities for youth to learn and lead together.
Some highlighted activities from past FEESTs:
- Dinner discussions: including, BlackLivesMatter, climate change and the burgeoning climate movement, and digging deep into the history and meaning of Thanksgiving.
- Activities: Food Justice Jeopardy, Community Nourishment, Whole Foods vs. Processed Foods.
Our free community events bring our neighbors together to learn together, discuss, and eat good food at our demonstration kitchen at 376 Throop Avenue. While our events vary in content, we always include a hands-on, participatory cooking demonstration that goes with the theme of the evening.
Past Community Events have included:
- Soul Food Junkies film screening, with a healthy soul food dinner, and discussion.
- Urban Roots film screening, with a dinner of in-season vegetables from our own gardens and donated by our friends at Nextdoorganics, followed by a discussion.
- Good and Cheap Book signing with a dinner featuring recipes from the Leanne Brown’s fun and important book.
- Cafeteria Man film screening. For this event, we partnered with our friends at Garden to Café. They are a part of the NYC Dept of Education and a part of GrowNYC and they are working with schools to bring healthful meals from the school gardens into cafeterias citywide. They made all the food that night that has also been used on new cafeteria menus. The film was about one man’s fight to change the food served in the schools in his district. This was followed by a lively discussion about how we can improve school food policies and practices here in our neighborhood.
Check out our Calendar
for more events to come!
Communities for Healthy Food Bed-Stuy can only truly succeed through community leadership. In January 2015 we went with a few of our most active community residents to our first group Just Food Advocacy Training
. Together, we took steps toward developing a shared understanding of our current food system and the food justice movement, practiced campaign planning, and learned about opportunities for policy change. As we increase our focus on organizing work in our neighborhood and our city and build a strong local coalition for food justice, we will do more to engage with our community in this work.