VISTA Stories: JANUARY 2010

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Andrew with students from Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School
On September 16, 2010, an incredible food justice activist and dear friend, Andrew Wolf, was killed while on a cycling trip in Canada. Andrew was riding with 18 others for the Otesha Project, a Canadian charity that teaches social justice through theater and storytelling. We are deeply saddened to lose Andrew, but consoled by the memory of his joyous spirit. Read about Andrew's passion for food justice in his own words below.

 

What's Food Justice Anyway?

By Andrew Wolf, Youth Coordinator, The Children’s Aid Society

When I first walked into a classroom at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx and said the words “food justice,” the students gave me a look like, “What did he just say?”

Fortunately, their humanities teacher had recently discussed what “justice” meant with the students.  We broke things down. 

“Something that’s fair,” one student replied when I asked about justice. 
“So what does that have to do with food?” I asked.
“Food that’s healthy,” one student answered hesitantly. 
“People who aren’t hungry,” another said.

Thus began one of the three Food Justice classes I am currently teaching for Children’s Aid Society, classes meant to add an advocacy component to the agency’s Food and Nutrition program.  

It wasn’t long before students were talking about processed foods, advertising, fast food, diabetes, and the way health is related to our food system.  In the weeks since my first class last October, students have argued about whether people have free choice in making healthier choices and what a just food system would really look like.  Some students were skeptical about the possibility for change.  We watched a video produced by Market Makeovers, a group having a positive impact on food access in L.A., which led some students to admit that maybe we could have an impact.  Over the last few classes, students were inspired to write their own script and film a healthy cooking demo to be launched on the school’s Internet television station, Fannie Lou TV.  Students are excited to have their video be the latest buzz in the high school’s hallways when it is uploaded onto Fannie Lou TV in a few weeks.