Food producers are a vital but often overlooked part of a community. They employ, train, and empower people while producing and increasing access to culturally relevant food.
Farms are direct producers of food and may sell their goods in local stores or farmers’ markets. They may also participate in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs.
These are systems that connect consumers to fruits, vegetables, and other items (like eggs) that are grown or produced within their communities. CSAs often work through delivery services, though some allow you to pick up your weekly or monthly bundle at a farm or local distribution center.
Especially important are farms and CSAs that are Black-owned.
The community work they do — from introducing children to gardening to equipping formerly incarcerated people with the skills to grow food and transform it into livelihood — is critical.
One of the main goals of these organizations is to reduce the number of food deserts, which are neighborhoods with limited or no access to fresh foods, due to a lack of grocery stores or major distances to the nearest ones. Food deserts exist disproportionately in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods.
Fast food chains and convenience stores often dominate food deserts, offering poor nutritionand failing to cater to cultural and dietary needs. This gives residents little choice but to eat processed foods, and it contributes to the deteriorating health of vulnerable communities.
A common response to this issue is “grow your own food.” But for most people, that’s basically impossible.