Matthew Steele writes about food justice, student food co-ops, and the challenges of community-based food projects in Philadelphia’s lower-income neighborhoods.
“… Many food justice advocates are brought into their work by an emotional reaction to the tragic hunger that exists in the world, be it in the context of the U.S.’s inner cities or global poverty. Indeed, hunger and emergency food efforts have been the recipients of the bulk of funding in the growing food movement over the last 40 years, a time period that simultaneously saw an expansion of hunger and food-related problems. Focusing on the one issue of food access has only enabled the persistence of the true underlying causes of our unjust food system. Food access, though important, cannot be the focus of efforts. It is more important to restructure the food system in a way that empowers a community to have control in their food system thereby ensuring their continued access…”