Not sure what community food security means? Project Bread provides 10 things you need to know about community food security - and why you should invest in it.
The face of hunger in our state is evolving: in the wake of the Great Recession, more and more families are finding it tough to make ends meet. Project Bread believes community food security can make a huge difference in these families' lives—and in their neighborhoods and cities, too.
Not sure what community food security means?
1) Community Food security is about healthy food for everyone.
We used community food security to describe the end result when our local and regional food systems function to provide every eater with access to healthy and affordable food. Simply put, we want to build up a community’s resources so it can meet the needs of those who live in it.
2) Building community food security is one of Project Bread’s goals.
Community food security is focused on the same thing we are: ensuring everyone—especially low-income people—can meet their nutritional needs in the communities where they live, work, and learn. It aims to improve how local and regional food systems work—so no one is left out!
3) A local food system has lots of moving parts.
Food systems are made up of all the complex interconnections of producing, processing, distributing, marketing, and retailing food. This includes farmers, growers, distributors/brokers, supermarkets, small markets, farmers markets, and all of the eaters—and that's all of us.
4) Low income people face some big challenges in accessing food that is fresh, healthy, and affordable.
A lack of income can make it difficult to overcome issues within the food system. Market based solutions like double coupons, SNAP, and WIC subsidize the cost of food, and make it possible for individuals and families to participate and purchase like everyone else—and to support their local businesses.
5) Farmers face plenty of challenges, too.
Farmers in Massachusetts and New England face multiple risks—like bad weather and market fluctuations—and are subject to multiple levels of regulation. On top of that, their farms require incredibly long hours of work during peak season. Our Massachusetts farmers are a precious resource and they deserve our support and thanks.
6) Community food security creates direct links between food producers and food eaters—that’s all of us!
Through farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) shares, local buyers can get their fresh items directly from the farmers (and ranchers, and fishermen, and so on) who produce them. Rather than buying tomatoes from thousands of miles away, you can buy them from the farmer down the road—which keeps his farm going for another season.
7) Community food security encourages innovative solutions (just like Project Bread!)
Urban agriculture and community gardens can help meet the needs of low income people—and can provide an additional means of self-sufficiency for those who sell the food they grow. Food rescue programs connect low-income people with surplus produce and food supply from markets. Pop-up famers markets make it possible for more neighborhoods to enjoy fresh items. And that’s just the beginning!
8) When the food system works, everyone benefits.
The goal is to give everyone access to fresh, healthy food where they work and liveat affordable prices—and to provide more options for being actively involved in the food system, including growing your own vegetables, cooking, and gardening. Farmers sell directly to communities, cutting down on packaging, transportation, and brokerage costs. And big business is required to compete with local interests, and not vice versa.
9) Project Bread is an active partner in community food security.
Project Bread supports initiatives that connect low-income people with fresh, healthy food, such as CSA subsidies, SNAP discounts at farmers markets, Massachusetts Farm to School, Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and more.
10) YOU can invest in, and become a “solutionary” in community food security by supporting Project Bread.
Through generous donations from our supporters, partners, and sponsors, we are able to facilitate and fund projects that contribute to building a healthier and more equitable local and regional food system…Our Walk for Hunger plays a huge role each year in that fundraising effort—but we need your help all year round.