Outside of writing for Zomppa and, um, eating, my passion is helping anyone, regardless of neighborhood/income/background, eat a healthier, more produce-based diet. Right now, I partner with non-profits and organizations such as healthcare centers for under/un- insured patients, continuing education facilities helping people complete a high school degree or learn life skills, youth centers that work with young parents and at risk teens, and schools high in free/reduced lunch populations. I also do demonstrations at local farmer’s markets that accept federal assistance dollars showing people how to easily prepare vegetables that they may not have previously had the opportunity to purchase. For many of my clients, LIFE hurts, and I believe it’s fresh, healthy food that can heal.
After spending a year partnering with organizations that have their own grants or donating my time as I can, I have seen the literal HUNGER in many of the places I work to learn more about diet and health. I have also seen the dire lack of access or funds to purchase the foods that help fuel and feed the body well. I wish classes like these could be taught everywhere, but it’s often hard to fund the need. Zomppa shares my commitment to allowing all people equitable access to fresh food and, together, we are launching an exciting new project to find out about how people across the country are working to address food equity issues.
Beginning this summer, I will embark on a vision quest, of sorts. Over the next six months, I will be traveling around the United States visiting food non-profits – specifically, groups that are working to increase access to and knowledge of fresh,healthy foods for low-income populations. From community gardens to cooking/nutrition classes to community kitchens to farmer’s markets to schools, I will be visiting organizations that are implementing various programs to bring food justice to all populations and neighborhoods. This will not only help us hone a vision for a non-profit, but also allow me to gather methods and techniques that I can use and share with other like-minded individuals. I will be documenting the trip as I go.
Some larger cities like Philly, Chicago, NYC and Boston, I will be traveling to individually through the summer/early fall. For the rest of the places I visit, I will be taking a cross-country (and back) road trip of 6-8 weeks in October/November. (To make things even more interesting, I’ll be trekking with my sidekick, LolaDog.) As I travel, I will be writing for Zomppa about my stops, the journey and the inspiring people (and canines) I meet.
I would love your help:
- If you know of any organizations working to increase food access or food knowledge in low-income/impoverished areas in your area, shout them out to me. I am planning my itinerary and looking for places to add around the country.
- If you have contacts that might be able to help set up meetings/visits to these places that’s very helpful, too!
- If you hear a report in your newspaper, NPR, while eavesdropping on a coworker…wherever….on a non-profit that sounds promising, send the link my way!
“Whatever you do or dream, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe