Yellow and orange hues stained the leaves hovering above a group of people gathered on Plain Street for the annual Food Justice Summit hosted by the GreenStar Community Projects, a nonprofit affiliate of the GreenStar Cooperative Market.
Through wind and rain, passionate food justice activists, students and community members gathered to enjoy the events of the summit on Sept. 21 at the Southside Community Center at 305 S. Plain St.
Luke Jones, program coordinator of the GreenStar Community Projects said he was excited about bringing together members of the community to educate them about food justice, which advocates access to healthy foods for everyone.
“There’s so many different people doing so many amazing things, but there’s so little connection between them.” Jones said. “We are trying to provide that explicitly for people dealing with food justice.”
The summit did achieve this goal on some level. Many activists were there in search of answers for how to support the food justice movement. Majora Carter, the keynote speaker for this year’s summit, gave some insight from the lessons she learned from her mistakes while promoting the food justice movement in the Bronx.
“Failure has taken on a terrible connotation,” Carter said. “Failure is actually a fantastic learning experience, either for you or someone else.
She gave a quick five-step guide to achieve success as a food justice activist. Carter said she wanted people to take action after listening to her speech.
Carter’s speech wasn’t the only part of the event the people were excited about. The junior Iron Chef activity, where chefs taught kids how to make meals, was popular among the event-goers. Also, the Farm-A-Thon, a new event preceding this year’s summit, allowed community members to volunteer at local farms. Jones said the Farm-A-Thon informed food consumers about the origins of their local food.
“[The event was] our way of connecting the community members to the farmers and getting people a little more entrenched in our local food system,” Jones said.
This year’s summit was meant to educate the community and get people motivated for the cause. Sophomore Courtney Denardo said she is proud to be a part of a community that sponsors events that support the food justice cause.
“This is an awesome event,” Denardo said. “I’m very proud to be in a community that has something like this going on. [Food justice] is a great thing to promote because many people, like myself, don’t have access to a lot of fresh food or don’t have the means to get fresh food.”