Voices from the Grassroots: An Online Quarterly

A platform for North American grassroots organizers and organizations in the good food movement to share their work—both triumph and failure.

Pear Tree

Somewhere in Harlem a pear tree grows its roots are old its roots are bare for our garden folk that's no reason to despair life like those roots may appear austere but that tree keeps growing in answer to prayers for life anew little Jamie's fallen down can't pick him up again Suzie wants a new dress what can we do without next? back in the garden


Vulnerability and resilience within the charitable food system during COVID-19

When the COVID-19 crisis hit in mid-March, it exposed several weaknesses within the charitable food system of food banks and food pantries. Reductions in volunteers, donated food, and agencies available to provide food coincided with dramatic increases in numbers of people needing free food to make ends meet. This article explores how Foodshare, th


Crop Is Ready

Crop is ready, let's rejoice. Combine, scythe, sickle, scissors: What's the harvest tool of choice?Turbine, clippers, pumpernickel?Dactyl rhythm, beats them all,Double couplets large and small,Leaving shells to decompose,Permaculture loves its nose. About the Author: Jerry Henkin Librarian, Northern Nut Growers Association President, New York


How CARES of Farmington Hills, Michigan, responded to the COVID-19 pandemic

CARES of Farmington Hills (Michigan) is a front-line food pantry that serves nine cities. CARES is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES office included a large meeting area, clothing room, and the food pantry. Before the pandemic arrived, it was a client-choice, self-serve food pantry set up like a grocery store that is


Community gardening during times of crisis: Recommendations for community-engaged dialogue, research, and praxis

How do community gardens—as spaces to grow fresh and nutritious food—respond to a pandemic socially, politically, and culturally? This essay is informed by the work of a range of stakeholders connected to The Village Community Garden and Learning Center, a community garden initiative in Rochester, Minnesota. After introducing our project, we outlin


How southeastern North Carolina is building more resilient food systems after COVID-19

Feast Down East is a regional nonprofit dedicated to creating a healthy, accessible local food system that supports economic growth in southeastern North Carolina. We began as The Southeastern North Carolina Food Systems Program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), founded by Leslie Hossfeld and Rev. Mac Legerton, to address pover


Episcopal Farmworker Ministry and disaster response to COVID-19

Farmworkers in the U.S. confront numerous challenges. They receive poverty wages and have high rates of wage theft, precarious immigration status, and a high risk of injury and fatality (Smolski, 2019). They also face rampant food insecurity, with 40 to 70 percent of farmworkers experiencing a lack of reliable access to nutritious meals (Minkoff-Ze


Seeding the World

Debra Williby-Walker has a great story to tell, and it's living under her roof in Mercer County, West Virginia. With her is eight-year-old Brady, her charismatic grandson, who has given away more than 6,000 packets of vegetable seeds to families around the world. Williby-Walker, 52, and Brady live in Oakvale, population fewer than 125, just a few m


The Meat of the Matter

The connection between industrial agriculture and the spread of zoonic viruses is becoming increasingly clear. The novel coronavirus has exposed the profound vulnerabilities of our global, industrialized food system. According to scientists at the Scripps Research Institute and other research institutions, it is likely that the virus was transmitte


Neighbor Loaves program aims to maintain regional grain value chains and feed the community

In the surreality of March 2020, as states closed the doors on business, my colleague Alyssa Hartman had a great idea. Watching businesses struggle, she wondered what she could do as a non-essential worker to help farmers and bakers. We set up a time to chat. Alyssa is executive director of the Artisan Grain Collaborative (AGC), a group of individu


Telefarming: When push comes to shelve in responding to COVID-19

COVID-19 has introduced new ways of com­plet­ing jobs virtually. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 22 million Americans filed for unemployment through mid- April 2020 (Long, 2020). Approximately 747,000 citizens in North Carolina alone have been forced out of work due to social distancing requirements (Chiwaya & Wu, 2020). While


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