Building Leadership through Food Justice

Posted by on Aug 23, 2018 | Comments Off on Building Leadership through Food Justice

Building Leadership through Food Justice

Summer 2018 was an exciting one for our Summer teen interns, and not just for the time spent in the garden. Although they spents hours of their time weeding and improving the gardens in the Charlottesville community, there was so much more! This year, CSG rolled out the Food, Rights, and Sustainable Food Futures unit during our youth internship program. This six-week educational unit introduced the six interns to the issue of food justice that span both the Charlottesville community and on a national level.

 The unit was designed to allow the interns to flex their critical thinking skills and examine some of the systemic inequities that impact food security.  One exercise involved a shopping trip where students were split into two “families” and experienced what grocery shopping is like for people with varying level of financial resources. We came together after and compared the shopping carts of two fictional, but typical families. One family was affluent with minimal limitations when shopping while the other struggled at the poverty level. Out of this exercise came the realization that, besides income, issues like the availability of public transportation play a key role in a family’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

The unit wrapped up with the students interviewing two Charlottesville food justice leaders. Brooke Ray, of the International Rescue Committee, and Farmer Todd Niemeier, from the Office of Human Rights, graciously offered their time to be interviewed to shine a light on food inequities experienced by residents of Charlottesville City.

It was a wonderful opportunity for the interns to see that becoming a food justice youth leader is well within their grasp. In the words of Makayla Howard, one of our outstanding interns, “Being a leader is to recognize your abilities and share them with others.” Check out the images below to see what else are view of being a good leader.