OCE Newsletter: last updated 08/28/2013

Food for Thought & Action

By Faith Gerdes ‘15

Two Lynn non-profits are giving a new perspective on the traditional idea of peer mentorship.

Inspired by their passion for food and the way it brings people together, The Family Dinner Project, in partnership with The Food Project, recently piloted a workshop series in which high school students from Lynn educated Gordon College students about the importance of food justice. Food justice refers to the movement to ensure all communities have equitable access to healthy, affordable, and culturally-appropriate food.

“I believe that food justice is almost completely overlooked by college students, and before these workshops, I thought very little about it,” said Mollie Enright, ‘15. “Being from a middle class, white-dominated suburb, food justice and food security were not things that I ever needed to think about.”

The two organizations began planning for the Food For Thought and Action series in November, and the program kicked off with its first workshop in February. The two groups of students have met four times since then.

Each workshop began with a community meal prepared by FDP coordinator Joanna Gallagher and Gordon students, followed by an hour of workshops on different food justice topics. Two Lynn high school students who work with The Food Project led the workshops.

The first three workshops focused on difference between rural, suburban, and urban food systems; the local food system; and various challenges in finding good food in an urban setting. In April, to finish up the series, the Food Project interns helped the Gordon students incorporate what they had learned into a plan for their own workshop to be presented to the Gordon community.

“I think it’s been a great experience for college students to hear the urban experience of food justice from students who have lived it,” said Gallagher. “I think it’s been beneficial to both parties and I’d love to see it continue in the future.”