Wednesday, February 20, 2008

2/13 Rally for food justice

Last Wednesday, after wandering through San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza and accidentally walking into the federal office building (though the security screening did hamper my "accidental" spirit), I finally located the California Food Justice Coalition's rally concerning the Farm Bill. The event was entitled: "Food Advocates Tell Pelosi: This Valentine's Day Have a Heart. Give Us Food and a Farm Bill We'll Love" and was located exactly where it should have been: smack dab in the middle of the weekly farmers' market.

I know what you are asking. What's the US Farm Bill? Why does this seminarian care and why should I? In a nutshell, the Farm Bill is a piece of federal legislation that determines who gets farming subsidies and how much they receive, what kinds of crops are grown and how they are distributed. It allocates money for nutrition programs in schools and low-income communities and tackles questions regarding food access. One shocking fact I learned listening to a speaker at the rally: West Oakland is a community of 30,000 people. There are 53 liquor stores in the area and not one grocery store. No wonder it is difficult for people to make healthy choices! A reformed Farm Bill could help to address this and similar inequalities, insuring that all people have access to organic and locally-grown foods. This rally was not simply about food or farming, but about creating communities that are healthy and just---the kind of communities God wants for us. For more information visit

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