Connect Blog

WhyHunger is pleased to be partnering with Andrianna Natsoulas, long-time food sovereignty activist and author of the forthcoming book Food Voices: Stories of the Food Sovereignty Movement.  For the past year, Andrianna has been on a journey across the Americas to capture the stories of people working towards and living a just and sustainable food system. Below is the latest highlight of her work.

Francisco Mendes Coelho is a farmer from Canadê in the state of Ceará in Brazil. He is an active member of the MST—the Landless Workers’ Movement of Brazil. The MST settles landless families throughout Brazil on reclaimed land, which they call settlements.  Francisco has lived on the New Life Settlement since his parents joined it in 1996. He continues working with the MST to settle land, organize communities, and educate people.

“One of the things that most motivates us to struggle for land is to have human dignity and to say ‘I am one of the landless.’ Not the landless portrayed in the media, but a landless person with dignity, respect, work, and with a basic education.  This is what motivates us to struggle, so that more people can have this quality of life.

“We do this for the greater good, but this struggle is not easy. It hurts to leave my family. We are often arrested by the police, and the media often tries to slander us, saying that we are not a legal movement, that the movement is full of vagabonds and bandits, but we have to show that this is not true, that we are doing this for the greater good. Our goal is not only to attain land, but also rights that are sanctified in the constitution and that today are denied to us workers. Without a doubt, we do this for the greater good and I believe that it is possible to change things.

“When we speak about food sovereignty, it is not enough to simply have a government program such as Zero Hunger, in which every family will have enough food to feed itself three times per day. When we talk about sovereignty, we have to consider who is producing, how they are producing, and how the production is undertaken to stop hunger and thirst. In this way, we have a mode of production related to values, such as not polluting or poisoning the land, a clean and sustainable production, and work that is not slave labor. Our cause is to do away with the large landholdings, the latifundios, but today the latifundios are not only on the land. There is the latifundio of education, latifundio of the media, the latifundio that oppresses us. It is necessary to discuss a model that can include indigenous, mulatto, black, and quilombola [descendants of escaped African slaves] people on agrarian reform settlements, and to raise the question of unity of the working classes so that we can have a common objective.

“Our concerns are the questions of climate, the planet and water. These are concerns for the whole world, not just Brazil. We have to think about a new way of living, a new way of producing and a new way of eating. Without a doubt, we have to think about how the model that exists today is backwards and doesn’t work anymore. The high consumption - today each family has two or three cars. The movement is saying it is not possible anymore for the entire world to live from this model, and we hope to build relations that consider the planet, the environment, and a better way to produce. We talk a lot about how what is happening today is a collapse, but we have to think about a new way of living on the planet. The MST youth is strong in discussing these new ways of living on the planet. This is our principal dream to build for the working class in Brazil and throughout the world.”

Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County located in Watsonville, CA was founded in 1972 and is the second oldest food bank in the country as well as a co-founder of the national association of food banks that is now called Feeding America. Yet, this medium-sized regional food bank which serves more than 52,000 people each month, no longer refers to its collection of programs and services as food banking. Instead they proudly talk about their core purpose these days as “nutrition banking.” In an emergency feeding system that seems anachronistic and short-sighted in its emphasis on “pounds in...
Most people think of English charm and a recent reality TV series set in Los Angeles when referring to a certain charismatic and accomplished chef who is taking on school food reform as an issue of immediate and vital concern to future generations. Of course, they are thinking of Jamie Oliver and his television series, Food Revolution. But the “Real Jamie,” as he is affectionately referred to, works his magic a little farther north up the California coast, in Santa Cruz. He is Jamie Smith, Senior Manager of Food Services for Santa Cruz City Schools, and his enthusiasm is every...
WhyHunger is pleased to be partnering with Andrianna Natsoulas, long-time food sovereignty activist and author of the forthcoming book Food Voices: Stories of the Food Sovereignty Movement.  For the past year, Andrianna has been on a journey across the Americas to capture the stories of people working towards and living a just and sustainable food system. Below is the latest highlight of her work. Recently, I returned from a week in Haiti, or “Ayiti” in Kreyol. Haiti is the last country covered in Food Voices. I chose Haiti because it has such a negative reputation of poverty, crime and natural disasters....
We are pleased to announce that applications are now available for The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards (HCSRA), a national grant program providing economic resources and networking opportunities to outstanding community-based organizations for their creative and effective approaches to fighting hunger and poverty in the United States. Since 1985, WhyHunger has been working with the Harry Chapin Foundation to identify and champion these model programs. Cash grants of up to $7,000 will be awarded to ten community-based organizations around the country to support innovative programmatic work in the fields of hunger and poverty.   Applicants must provide a detailed description of the work...
Jessica Powers is the Director of WhyHunger's National Hunger Clearing House.  A former disaster relief specialist with the American Red Cross, Jess was called in for emergency volunteer service after record destruction by tornadoes spread across the South last week. She’s been deployed as a Kitchen Site Manager - providing...

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WhyHunger is pleased to be partnering with Andrianna Natsoulas, long-time food sovereignty activist and author of the forthcoming book Food Voices: Stories of the Food Sovereignty Movement.  For the past year, Andrianna has been on a journey across the Americas to capture the stories of people working towards and living...

more ►

Food Voices: Food is Political

ANDRIANNA NATSOULAS , APRIL 25, 2011 tagged as food voices
WhyHunger is pleased to be partnering with Andrianna Natsoulas, long-time food sovereignty activist and author of the forthcoming book Food Voices: Stories of the Food Sovereignty Movement.  For the past year, Andrianna has been on a journey across the Americas to capture the stories of people working towards and living...

more ►

WhyHunger is pleased to be partnering with Andrianna Natsoulas, long-time food sovereignty activist and author of the forthcoming book Food Voices: Stories of the Food Sovereignty Movement. For the past year, Andrianna has been on a journey across the Americas to capture the stories of people working towards and living...

more ►

I was recently in the Bay Area, and had the opportunity to visit Mandela MarketPlace, a 2009 recipient of the competitive USDA Community Food Project grant. I was especially excited to meet folks at Mandela because we have selected them to be part of the pilot year of the WhyHunger/Growing...

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Welcome to WhyHunger’s Connect Blog featuring stories, projects and articles from the community-based organizations, organizers and social movements that are building the movement for food justice.

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