Detroit’s come a long way on the food front. From the field to plate some of the nation’s leading food nonprofits are here and five of them were chosen for the first annual James Beard Foundation and Food Tank Good Food Org Guide.
The groups include Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, Detroit Food Justice Task Force, The Greening of Detroit, Keep Growing Detroit and the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative. They work every day to build a strong food system for the city.
Three other Michigan-based organizations where had attention shown upon them; Cherry Capitol Foods in Traverse City and Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance in Lansing and Michigan Voices for Good Food Policy, an advocacy group.
More than four hundred U.S.-based groups that are cultivating a better food system were chosen for the “Good Food Org Guide” by its creators, the James Beard Foundation and Food Tank in concert with prestigious advisory groups.
The guide highlights nonprofit organizations that are doing exemplary work in the United States in the areas of food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity and food justice. Only nonprofit, scholarly and municipal initiatives were selected in order to spotlight efforts that are focused on community building and engagement, advocacy and service.
“We hope this guide will serve as a resource for chefs, farmers, students, advocates, and others to find the resources they need about the growing good food movement in the U.S.,” says Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation.
“Food Tank is delighted to collaborate on this effort with the James Beard Foundation—we’re thrilled to highlight so many great organizations who are working to educate, inspire, and cultivate a better food system,” says Danielle Nierenberg, president of Food Tank.
Here’s a little more about the on the non-profits chosen:
Detroit Black Community Food Security Network – In 2006 this group came together to address the food insecurity within the black community. Three organic urban farm sites, various local food policy initiatives, and a cooperative food buying program for community residents, are the marks of success so far for this group which believes that the most effective movements come from the very people they are designed to help.
Detroit Food Justice Task Force – A healthy, effective, and economically just system is the goal of this group. Food justice principles, the name given to the specific policies the group endorses, have included a campaign for food sovereignty, rejecting the use of GMOs and other things to go against corporate control of foods, and combating racism by hosting collective community meals.
The Greening of Detroit – The goal here is to produce a better ecosystem for Detroit. The projects underway involve planting 81,000 trees within the city’s limits, giving the youth lessons, and helping young and old alike with an urban agriculture initiative that offers apprenticeship programs.
Keep Growing Detroit – Imagine a Detroit where all the citizens eat locally grown food. This is the vision of Keep Growing Detroit, which does this by distributing seed around the community, classes on urban farming, building a network for local farmers and teaching the youth about agriculture.
Cherry Capital Foods – A group that helps Michigan farmers, not only in helping them distribute their produce, but also by educating the public about them and their farms. Cherry Capital Foods also provides local foods to independent school systems.
Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance – They inform about the dangers of an industrialized food supply. This will hopefully help both local farmers and consumers, by steering the latter towards locally soured organic foods.
Michigan Urban Farming Initiative – The goal here is to reduce socio-economic disparity and improve education through agriculture. This is done by introducing urban areas to sustainable agriculture.
Michigan Voices For Food Policy – This grassroots group takes a political route, by way of supporting the policies within the government that helps farmers, both in rural and urban areas, and expanding access to locally grown and healthy food. The Michigan Voices For Food Policy work alongside the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition along with other Michigan groups. These alliances helps minority and first time farmers, make healthy food available, and push forward economic growth.
Detroit’s achievements in the world of food sustainability are now listed among the nation’s best.
To see the full “2014 Good Food Org Guide,” go to http://issuu.com/foodtank.