|Original print by Debra Riffe |
(apologies for the poor photograph
of her beautiful work!)
Urban low income communities are giving a different face to our movement. New Roots in Louisville, KY is creating Fresh Stops where leaders from some of the poorest communities manage local CSAs that are based on your ability to pay. Will Allen in Milwaukee, WI is empowering folks from the inner city to grow an abundance of food in abandoned city lots and on rooftops.
The rural poor need a place in this movement too and Grow Appalachia understands that. John Paul DeJoria, who created and funds the program, was homeless when he co-founded Paul Mitchell. That humble background and his current philanthropy has taught me a lesson about what humanity really is and how our class should never influence the dignity we all deserve. New to the Grow Appalachia network, Sprouting Hope is focused on not only serving, but also empowering, low income communities to gain access to fresh, organic produce. People from across the socioeconomic spectrum come together as equals to grow their own food and donate much of what they grow to people in need that are unable to garden themselves.
As the high end market develops for organic, local, all natural, hormone-free, low-income-customer-free food, we must remember that all communities must be included in this movement for us to succeed. Cesar Chavez realized this when he did the impossible: organizing thousands of immigrant farm workers, poor and marginalized, to be a great force that has forever changed labor relations between farm owners and workers. What "I want more than anything else, I would like to see the poor take a very direct part in shaping society and let them make the decisions. And in our case, if the poor are not involved then change will never come."