It’s harvest time in central Brooklyn! A rich marriage of food wisdom and social activism continues to yield nutrient-packed produce and local leadership right here. The Brooklyn Movement Center (BMC) wades these waters with unique activities while incubating something new. We saw how at one of the grub parties posted at their Web site. Food Justice organizer Harvir Kaur hosted this lively meal filled with great conversation.
Cultivating neighborhood leadership to run an independent food business is one of three Food Justice projects at BMC. The emerging Central Brooklyn People’s Food Co-op seeks to embody health, affordability and justice. They also seek your participation. It’s crucial to BMC that the community own this important venture!
Harvir opened the night with an overview. Along with others committed to the cause, she explained that food co-ops are a way for neighborhoods to control their access to healthy food. Because they are largely volunteer-run, they can provide a less expensive alternative to supermarkets. Food co-ops are committed to consumer education, product quality and member control. If this one follows existing BK models, it’s likely to offer produce from (established) nearby community gardens.
Serving Bedford-Stuyvesant, North Crown Heights and surrounding low- and moderate-income neighborhoods of color is the goal. They, and partners, want to improve local food options by establishing a new community-based and membership-run food cooperative.
Who are the BMC? The Brooklyn Movement Center is a membership-led, direct action, community group based in Bed-Stuy. They exist to unite residents to identify important local issues, win concrete community improvements, and build power. The BMC is staffed by local organizers, supported by volunteers, governed by a community-based board of directors with guidance from an advisory board composed of citywide activists and organizers. Get involved by calling 718-771-7000.
Furthermore: You can find your local genius on issues of food at www.brooklynmovementcenter.org where tour de force blogs cover a wide range of related issues. Committing to Food Justice Means Committing to Criminal Justice (and vice versa) dropped on 8-28-13 in partnership with the Center for Nu Leadership on Urban Solutions. This story asks and suggests answers to the question, How do Food Justice and Criminal Justice intersect? Got GMOs? was contributed by Food and Water Watch’s Brooklyn office. That informative piece gives local and national perspectives on why we need genetically modified foods labeled. It tells us GMOs are pushed into the marketplace by familiar and little-known corporations. Naming names, it reads: “…junk food peddlers like Coca-Cola, Nestle, PepsiCo, General Mills, ConAgra and the like want to keep us dining in the dark…” Dara Cooper of the NYC Food and Fitness Partnership based at Bed-Stuy Restoration reblogged her Truthout magnum opus here, too. In Criminalization, Race and Food Access in a Time of Hyper-Afrophobia, Dara breaks it down: “Black and brown people deserve the right to LIFE, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness. Black and brown people deserve the right to access quality food. Those rights are connected.” The process of birthing a new food co-op means the BMC’s in this game long-term. Check their Web site for more.