My neighbor made Amazing Blackberry Muffins for me yesterday. Made from blackberries I got at the Midohio Food Pantry. I am nearly two weeks into my Food Insecurity Series and it has left me with so many feelings that I am not sure a month of writing will cover all I want and need to say.
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We don’t talk about it
The conversations that have started over the food insecurity series have been amazing. from is it right I am eating this food, to how do we help people in my community of Westerville. where on the face of it food insecurity is not a problem, but it’s not a problem not because it’s not here but because we don’t talk about it.
Why is that? Why don’t we talk about the fact that even in this community of privilege 1 in 3 kids in our schools face Food Insecurity? We are not a food desert. That means grocery stores and other places with food operate their businesses here. It is viable for them to do so.
Amazing Blackberry Muffins
This last week when I went to Mid Ohio Food Bank I was given a flat of blackberries. Along with a lot of other food. I am a one-person household so I cannot always eat all the fresh fruit and veggies I am given. I have started to share what I am doing with this series with my neighbors. My sharing includes my writing and some of the food I have received.
I did so not because I know they need food and are hungry or because I’m making a judgement. I did so because I had an abundance of something and I had no need to hoard the food.
Food no matter your socio-economic standing is a way to bridge barriers and relate to people. In giving of the food, I have started speaking with neighbors and hearing about friends and families. I have also gotten some delicious recipes. and even two Amazing Blackberry Muffins on a plate delivered to my door!
In asking above why don’t we talk about Food Insecurity? There are so many things that lead to us being quiet. Embarrassment, not knowing how to get help, fear of judgment and so many more are natural feelings especially in the society we have lived in up until this moment.
I was at a memorial last night for the Atlanta 8 and a woman spoke and her words were powerful. They also called for us to do something out of our comfort zone. She called for us to stand in Radical Solidarity.
It meant something different last night when referring to the Asian Hate that is taking place in America right now. but I feel it can be applied to the fight to feed people.
What does Radical Solidarity mean and what does it look like in this movement to feed people? Below is what I feel it means and what you will see myself and Tripping Vittles Practicing sometimes to my own discomfort.
Radical Solidarity in Food for All
Acknowledging and talking about your own food insecurity
Speaking out against laws that make it harder to get food into the hands of those that need it
Mutual Aide: churches working with the community, cities helping citizens, social justice groups standing together, and then all of us working together.
Volunteering can look like many things. restaurants getting leftover food to human beings and not trash cans, driving boxes of food to those that can’t drive, taking food to the elderly homes that need it, writing checks. If you have more than enough money be sure to share with organizations that feed people. Cash is far more important than an old can of beans. Cash allows food pantries to buy what their shoppers want and need.
Setting up a Little Pantry in your yard or in front of your business so you can allow people to pick up food not under scrutiny, Do not tie the receiving of food to a message of faith. You can be faith-driven but to force that faith on someone just so they can eat is not the best way to share the gospel. Try just leading and those that feel the love will follow but forced faith is false phosphatizing
Keep Practicing Radical Solidarity
Push for some of the larger food pantries to make it easier and less stigmatized to get food from you. I’m looking at you WARM. If covid has done nothing else it has forced or encouraged many places to stop with so many rules about who and how you get food.
Start holding corporations accountable for the amount of food insecurity in this country. How is it that most of what I get from Mid Ohio comes from Kroger, Walmart, and Sams Club? And yet those same places do not pay their employees enough to make a living wage. They refuse to put their stores in food deserts. Yes, they help feed people through donations of food but they also contribute to people being hungry. That simply is fucked up!
Acknowledge that we as white people have for the most part (yes there are exceptions) have it easier to feed ourselves than our BIPOC counterparts. start to learn the reasons for this. Learn what a food desert is. Learn what working poor means. Make it completely natural to do your shopping at a Food Pantry as it is going to Costco. White folks, it is our responsibility to tear down some of these walls, we built the damn things and reeducate ourselves on how we have benefited from Capitalism and colonialism. we can feed our neighbors and our nation
Food is a right! No one should go hungry!
How Will You Practice Radical Solidarity