Marcus Hill, lead coordinator at the Forsyth Community Food Consortium:
“When I think of not just eradicating food insecurity, but what a good food system can look like, there are always elements of increased community control and involvement within all aspects of the food system (production, processing, distribution, consumption, and recovery, or however you like to categorize). There is also always a dedication to social and environmental justice.
“From my perspective, there are three main steps toward getting there.
“The first involves better education for those working within the food movement itself toward better and more comprehensively connecting food system elements with one another and communities (the education I’m speaking of refers to learning how to more effectively intervene toward positive change in and with communities, how to work in participatory ways with communities and celebrate local knowledge, and how to more effectively uncover resources already existing within communities).
The second step involves working toward building more food system infrastructure that needs to be in place in order to grow food, get food to where it needs to be, recover food waste, get more people involved and active within the food system, etc. (this could involve feasibility studies toward and investments in food hubs, food business incubators and shared-use facilities, job training programs, and so on).
Finally, it involves generally more participation throughout the food system, which could be observed in terms of a growth in small food businesses, broader local EBT/WIC acceptance, more food-related community organizing, etc.”
Marianne LeGreco, associate professor at UNCG and food justice organizer:
Marianne LeGreco’s name came up in more interviews than anyone else. It’s not surprising, given her involvement with food access research, the Mobile Oasis market, speaking about food justice at TEDx Greensboro, organizing a local food alliance, and more. Here are some ideas she offered:
“Right now: build relationships around food
- Let’s do a Triad-wide photo-voice to put a face on hunger. We’ve got photographers, photo-voice experts and hungry people who want to share their stories… so let’s match them up and really get the picture of what our food security issues look like.
- The conversation is turning from access to cooking, so let’s all cook together… and I’m not talking cooking classes. I’m talking let’s take an Ethnosh model and do a monthly meetup where groups of people from all over the Triad get together and batch cook 2-4 weeks worth of food. We can all teach each other how to cook and maximize our food resources.
Bigger picture: build jobs and infrastructure around food
- Create jobs around food. This is the problem that I’ve heard quite a bit — the Triad has never really found sufficient replacement for the jobs in our furniture, textile and other manufacturing markets… nor have we as communities helped to facilitate the re-skilling of our workforce to meet the demands of the job opportunities that have come to the Triad. Well, we’re struggling with jobs and we’re struggling with food. What if they’re the solution to each other?
- A couple of ideas that people are kicking around involve the idea of a food-waste recovery program.
- I’ve also heard about four or five different people, including Winston-Salem Councilwoman DD Adams, talk about aquaponics and hydroponics as possible “food tech” developments that we can make. It’s an expensive but potentially lucrative idea that’s worth looking into (at the very least getting together the folks who are interested in it).
Our first response shouldn’t be to start another group — we already have a lot of people doing amazing things across the Triad.”
Later she added: “Take a look at bus routes to see if GTA can make it easier to get to grocery stores & supermarkets.”