October 24- The 3rd Annual Food Day in Massachusetts
As Hundreds of everyday people put the finishing touches on their Massachusetts Food Day activities, celebrated on October 24, it is clear as to why residents from all walks of life get involved in Food Day. We inherently know that we all have a stake in each other and it doesn’t matter if you are representing a non-profit, school district, family, business, farm, restaurant or food bank, you believe that we all deserve healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food.
Across the state and country, thousands of people just like you and me, will organize, participate in and celebrate Food Day, the nationwide celebration and movement toward a better food system.
Yes, every day is Food Day, though some of our neighbors and colleagues may not pay as much attention to what they or other communities do or don’t have access to–they may not be aware of small scale farmers who are part of their local economy, producing the freshest and healthiest produce available right down the road. Or that there are municipalities working to incorporate local produce for their regional school district. It might not be on their radar that non-profits are engaging in policy discussions to bring awareness to the lack of access to neighboring communities.
This sort of reflection takes time, forces one to slow down and become aware, it also lends itself to conversation and information sharing and is the precursor to community-building, a key outcome from Food Day planning.
Food day events will range from community potlucks, “Eating Real” school challenges, film screenings, and farmers’ markets, to festivals, food demos, and family dinners with food focused discussion, and so much more. These events didn’t come from a hat of ideas that one reaches into for their assignment, rather the ideas were born during discussions with peers, strangers, and partner organizations in numerous towns and cities. One of our passionate organizers captured it so well:
“For at least one day, with weeks maybe months of preparation, communities across the country are sharing the love of food–local and sustainable, having conversations about food justice and equity, and gathering around all things food”, said Karen A. Spiller, Director, Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness.
As we ready for the 3rd annual Food Day to unfold, in some towns it has morphed into “Food Week”, I am humbled by the passion, vision and dedication of neighbors and strangers, who come together; who stop by an activity and see what all of the fuss is about and listen. More so, it is the children, who will know what the fuss is about, because they just tasted the difference between fresh produce and a now forgotten neon orange snack, and there is no going back. That to me signals a brighter future for our connective food system, this is something to celebrate.