Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Food Banks that add to local, sustainable food systems

Originally posted

Today my mission in the game urgentevoke.com is to learn about food security and help find a way to add to the discussion on any of the following global issues related to hunger:

  • Develop just, sustainable, and diverse food systems
  • Meet the food needs of everyone, especially people living in poverty
  • Promote good nutrition and health
  • Revitalize local communities
  • Build self-reliance and collaboration
  • Link farmers and consumers
  • Support sustainable and family-scale farming
  • Promote good working conditions and sustainable livelihoods for farmers and food system workers
  • Honor and celebrate diverse cultures and traditions
  • Enhance the dignity and joy of growing, preparing, and eating food

I am thinking locally and basing my ideas on the Rome Declaration of Food Security written in 1996. This is hard for me, I tend to be conservative. It's a new idea for me to think about the world in terms of the idea that everyone simply deserves to eat. My inner bootstrapper feels that if people work hard and make the right decisions that they'll always have enough to eat. I'm sure the Oakey's during the Great Depression were hard workers - the drought that brought on the Dust Bowl killed their crops, and the years that followed couldn't have been planned for. If I think about this globally, I have to acknowledge there are people on this planet right now who live in countries/communities where starvation is used for political gain. Food security is simply a human rights issue.


In Phoenix Arizona, we have the good fortune of having a wonderful non-profit who works to serve the hungry. The Mission of St. Mary's Food Bank alliance is:

Food Bank Mission


The mission of St. Mary's has every element of food security embedded within it.

St. Mary's is the world's first food bank, and are a group that I admire. I have hosted and participated in several food drives for St. Mary's over the past few years because they are committed to use everything they are given and more than 95% of financial donations go straight to hungry people. When I donate a can of beans to St. Mary's I am confident that my donation will make its way to hungry people. Over the past couple of years I've personally grown very disenchanted with donating money to charities - in the wake of 9/11 there were far too many scams and I became very skeptical of organizations seeking funds. If I couldn't locate a charity at the following site I was loathe to contribute http://www.charitynavigator.org, St. Mary's has an extremely high rating.

My fellow gamers in urgent evoke have written extensively about farming, particularly small sustainable farms. This is clearly vital, but I haven't seen much about food storage, and emergency food supplies. I think this is a powerful concept, as a good food bank serves both the immediate and long term needs of a community helping overall food security.

All of this makes me kind of want to host a food drive. www.feedingamerica.org

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My Previous Evoke Writings http://open.salon.com/blog/sueinaz/2010/03/17/how_do_we_evoke_chang...

Views: 28

Comment by Oliver Hohlstein on March 26, 2010 at 8:51pm
Thanks, I especially liked the charity navigator ... do you know if something like this exists also for non-USA organizations?
Comment by coxcrow on March 28, 2010 at 7:44pm
I appreciated your honesty concerning your bootstrapping values and your willingness to evaluate them. Kudos. Good thoughts about food storage and emergency supplies as well.
Comment by Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys on March 28, 2010 at 7:58pm
I agree with Pan. This projects have the best intentions but we need to build resilient and austainable ways of food production. I really lthink the way to go is to produce food everywhere and invest resources in teaching people how to do so, instead of charity. Nick Heymings initiative http://www.urgentevoke.com/profiles/blogs/what-is-a-global-gratitude and this one too http://www.urgentevoke.com/profiles/blogs/next-step-community-urban-1

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