In 2020 and 2021, our food justice series brings together urban farmers, young adults, city staff and the broader community to think about solutions to food insecurity by focusing on food justice and food sovereignty during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why food justice? Why now? Well, the pandemic has made many people lose their income and sometimes with it the ways they put food on the table, too. With the wave of COVID deaths and broader instability, mutual aid was one way that communities worked to take care of one another.
A conversation with members of YES Farm, the Black Farmers Collective and Wa Na Wari eventually led to BLOOM (Building Leadership, Organizing, and Orchard Management), a pilot program where emerging civic leaders who were 18-25 years old explored food justice and food sovereignty. BLOOM’s lead city partner was Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Urban Food Systems program working in partnership with Seattle Public Library.
BLOOM is a program of Seattle Together, a collaboration between City of Seattle departments and local communities to foster feelings of belonging, connection, and joy in Seattle. Seattle Together centers and supports Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities in building a future Seattle where they feel connected, rooted, recognized, prosperous and safe.