“You have to be really imaginative to bring home not only healthy foods but foods you enjoy. That is about culture and community for me – I have to usually travel to get collard greens. A lot of times, they’re just not offered. At the stores, they’re just not available”. –Liz Davis, Women’s Leadership Institute Participant
On Saturday March 1st, almost 30 community members, mostly women of color and low-income women, gathered at Got Green to connect over home-cooked meals, view a documentary on trying to eat on a “Food Stamp Diet” (about $1 per meal per person) and dialogue about what it means at a local level to feed ourselves and our families on a low-income budget.
The main themes that emerged from the dialogue include a lack of healthy culturally appropriate food for the communities of color in South Seattle, that accessibility means more than just cost but also travel time, mode of transportation and ease of transporting groceries and time to prep and clean up after cooking. The importance of our community coming together to change these barriers in accessing healthy food – not just at an individual level but also within the larger food systems at play surfaced as well.
“A year-round farmer’s market would work. It has worked, it does work – just ask Ballard. But I think it’s the neighborhood. Here, it’s more of an attraction – as opposed to being an accessible food source for people”. – Felisa Yasutake, Women’s Leadership Institute Participant
This first workshop was only the beginning of our community’s discussion in deciding what changes we will work towards creating. There are still three more workshops in this Women’s Leadership Institute series, and the next workshop is on Tuesday March 11th from 6:00-8:00 (Dinner at 5:30). The topic of increasing healthy food dollars for low-income families in our communities and the powerful and critical role of community organizing in food justice movements will be discussed over a home-cooked meal. Each participant also gets Farmer’s Market Dollars for attending each workshop!
“Food justice is one of the ways racial inequity really manifests itself in society today and has a lot of far reaching implications. Bad diets go on to increase health care costs and one of the reasons we spend so much on health insurance here in America. I’m really disgusted by the idea of actually subsidizing this behavior – making bad food more accessible and good food less accessible. If someone wants to fix their diet, if you have a fixed income, what are you going to do?” – Women’s Leadership Institute Participant
If you are interested in attending any of the next Institute workshops, or are interested in volunteering with Got Green’s Food Access team, contact Tammy Nguyen at firstname.lastname@example.org / 206-290-5136
Scroll down to view info on upcoming workshops!