Food Justice Working Group

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Austin David of the Marble Hill Houses at work in the Marble Hill Houses Community Gardens, 228th St and Broadway. Photo: Marisol Diaz, The Riverdale Press

BCJN’s Food Justice Working Group focuses on a wide range of issues from immediate hunger needs in the Bronx and support for local, sustainable agriculture through famers’ markets, community-supported agriculture (CSAs), and community gardens, to the expansion of food stamp benefits, advocacy for farmworkers’ rights throughout New York State, and education and advocacy for the urgent need to transition to more climate-friendly, vegetarian and vegan diets via the Meatless Monday campaign and other initiatives.

We work urgently in the recognition that 36% of Bronx residents are “food insecure.” The USDA term “food insecurity” is defined as meaning that “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.”  A significant number of Bronx parents, for example, sometimes forego meals to ensure that their school-age children do not go hungry.

An equally pressing issue is the ongoing denial of fundamental labor and human rights to New York State’s 80,000+ farmworkers (see below for links to our farmworker campaign work and our April 17, 2016 food justice forum flyer). Because BCJN understands that climate change is a manifestation of deep social and economic injustice, we know that to combat it, we must work for a democratic and just world, and the eradication of the systemic injustice, deprivation, and exploitation of farmworkers and others.

For information about our deep involvement in the struggle for labor and human rights for New York’s 80,000 farmworkers, please visit our Justice for NY State Farmworker’s campaign page and our March for Farmworker Justice page.

The Food Justice Working Group also believes that it would be impossible to overstate the role that human diet plays in climate change, local pollution, and systemic and intolerable cruelty to billions of factory-farmed animals. We’re working to educate and empower people to make changes in their own diets as well as our food systems so that the production, distribution, and consumption of food by our species harmonizes with rather than assaults the earth’s living systems.

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NYC schoolchildren turn out for community gardens on a brisk morning on February 10, 2015, on the steps of City Hall, to tell Mayor de Blasio, “We can have affordable housing AND green space!” Organized in part by BCJN’s friends at New York City Community Garden Coalition.

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