Understanding Food Justice
The crux of food justice is the right to community control over and access to affordable, fresh, culturally relevant foods that people want to eat – especially for low-income and communities of color with the least access. Across all of our work, we challenge ourselves to use an anti-oppression lens to build more equitable systems and healthier communities.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. MOM provides intervention for those times when food security is not possible.
Through food we can better understand our histories, our cultures, and our shared future. We grow up eating foods of our culture, creating a tapestry of our family history and our unique selves. Food from our family comforts us in times of uncertainty and stress. Housing and food instability certainly generates stress.
Poverty, food insecurity, and poor nutrition have serious consequences for the health and well-being of children, adults, and older adults, including a greater risk for chronic disease and poor mental health. Food insecurity is also linked to many adverse effects to overall health. The eating experience provides not only sustenance but also an opportunity for learning.
Traditional cuisine is passed down from one generation to the next. It also operates as an expression of cultural identity. It is likely why many of us want to donate foods that bring us comfort. The following list helps us grow awareness of the many food traditions around the United States and support each MOM shopper’s family history and cultural identity.
If you are considering donating, please review our cultural list and/or our current most needed TOP 10 list found here. For further information, please contact MOM’s Distribution Center Manager, Shirley@momhelps.org.
Thanks in advance for donating food to MOM and helping us to better understand our neighbors through food and honoring their traditions
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