Photography by Inye Wokoma / Ijo Arts Media Group

Ramata Diebate is a committed parent of two young children, Dominic and Ella. A 2007 graduate of the University of Washington, she volunteers at the Kent Family Court Parent-to-Parent Peer Advocates program. Since participating in an urban environmental education program in high school, she has worked to educate herself about our food system and its impact on family health and the environment.

At that time I took the survey, I was breastfeeding my daughter, and I was worried about having the proper nutrients; not having pesticides in my system and just generally having a healthy diet. I would say it’s of top importance to me and my family – and to every family – that we get access to healthy food.

We want our children to be healthy, to grow the way they are supposed to; and they can’t do that off of processed foods. I don’t think any family prefers to eat processed foods; but at certain times of the month, it’s what’s consumed because there’s not the funds to buy the fresh produce.

At the end of the month – it’s the hardest. At the end of the month you have to scrimp on fruits and vegetables and meat; and it shouldn’t be that way. Healthy food should be affordable enough so that families can eat well all month; not just in the first two or three weeks.

I’m struggling economically, but I’m an educated woman. And yet I don’t understand why it should be this way.

At the government level, farmers and producers of fruits and vegetables should be subsidized, and more should be grown; I read that if on one perfect day, everyone in the United States decided to follow the food and nutrition guidelines and eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, there wouldn’t be enough fresh produce in this country to go around. Which is a shame; they subsidize corn but not most fresh produce.

Local farmers – organic farmers – we should get them involved. Together we should be able to figure out how to make good food affordable.

Got Green will celebrated the international day of action on climate change on September 24th,  2011 a little differently than other actions nationwide by releasing a report on what low-income women and people of color have to say about their priorities for the green movement- to change the climate of our communities.

Click below to watch Ramata Diebate’s 9/24/11 testimony on access to healthy foods:
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