– October 1, 2013 –
Here in the US, autumn is the traditional harvest season. But for food justice advocates, this season is more than a season of pumpkin recipes – it’s a season of action. It’s a time to think about our food, where it’s grown, who grows it, and what we can do to help make sure everyone on the planet has enough to eat, always.
That’s why food justice advocates celebrate World Food Day every year on October 16 – and you can too!
Possible action you can take in celebration of World Food Day:
Food Week of Action
Sunday to Sunday, October 13-20 & World Food Day is October 16
The Churches Week of Action on Food is an opportunity for Christians all over the world to act and speak out together for food justice. People in the U.S. and worldwide are taking back their food systems – fighting for their land and waterways, reclaiming vacant lots, teaching others how to grow food, and developing local distribution systems – while simultaneously creating jobs, providing fresh food, preserving the environment, building rural-urban connections, advocating for just policies, and revitalizing their communities. Local control of seeds-by farmers, gardeners and seed keeping groups-is crucial for food security and food sovereignty.
The Food Week of Action is October 13-20, spanning the two Sundays on either side of World Food Day (October 16). The Week also includes the International Day for Rural Women (October 15) and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17).
SEEDS for LIFE! is the focus for this year’s Food Week of Action. Access and control over natural resources, including defending and localizing seed keeping, is critical for viability of small-scale food producers, sustainable agriculture and, ultimately, for addressing hunger. Seed keepers not only save seeds but also the culture that seeds bring and embody.
Put your faith into action during the Week and beyond.
- Defend Farmworkers! Stand in solidarity with farm workers and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers! And support actions in D.C., with Farm Labor Organizing Committee at their convention and related rally in Durham, North Carolina, and sign the Darigold and Gerawan petitions of the United Farm Workers.
- Defend Family Farmers and Seed Savers! Push for transparency and fairness in the Trans-Pacific Partnership to ensure “a particular kind of globalization that reflects justice, community, and sustainability for all” (PCUSA General Assembly) and oppose fast tracking the trade agreement
- Defend Food Workers! Become an ally of employees behind the kitchen door. Request a raise to the tipped minimum wage of $2.13 an hour for restaurant workers.
8 Activity Ideas for the Food Week of Action
- Worship. Organize a church service during the week. The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance will provide worship material on “Seeds for Life” in September, or you can draw from past worship materials available here. Lots of great resources on Seeds for Life! now available.
- Defend Seeds. Gather your local traditional farmers and gardeners to build a seed bank in your local library by ‘checking-in’ your most successful breeds and ‘checking-out’ the champions among fellow breeders. For inspiration, see the partnership between Basalt Public Library and the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute and learn how it’s done.
- Learn & Act Glocally. Organize a community and/or church group to study local plants and indigenous seeds. Locally: Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to reinforce the need to safeguard these varieties. (letter-writing tips) Nationally: Take one of the three A-B-C actions above. Globally: Do #7 below.
- Eat Good, Slow Food: Prepare a meal for your family using heirloom varieties and discuss the nutrient value of wilder species versus their domesticated varieties. Would you believe that Peruvian Purple potatoes have 171 milligrams of phytonutrients compared to the Yukon Gold variety (5.45 mg) or the standard white potato (1.03 mg).
- View: Host a screening and conversation about the film ‘Seeds of Freedom‘.
- Save Seeds: Launch a ‘Seed Keepers’ network. Learn more by joining the US Food Sovereignty Alliance’s Rights of Mother Earth Team. (email Andrew for information)
- Study: Read and discuss the principles outlined by faith groups and allied organizations that give public-private partnerships the best chance of success. Download Public-Private Partnerships: Working Together to Reduce Global Hunger.
- Organize an Event: Plan awareness-raising events during the Week. Host a October 15 Live Streaming Event of the Food Sovereignty Prize.
Participating Denominations and Groups
- Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach – Food Week Potluck Dinner Materials & Catholic Social Teachings and Trans-Pacific Partnership
- Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance – Food Week of Action – Seeds of Life!
- Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns – Home
- Presbyterian Church (USA), Office of Public Witness & Presbyterian Hunger Program – Food Week of Action
- United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries – Home