Posted on Wed, July 27, 2011 by Hnin
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It’s not your ordinary summer road trip. 13 young leaders. 8 states. 2000 miles. A journey to expose the injustices in the food system “from the ‘hood to the heartland”.
Tipping their hats to the Freedom Rides of the Civil Rights Movement, a group of inspired young leaders who call themselves the Food & Freedom Riders will carry forward the struggle for justice. Their task is to uncover the stories of farmers, workers, and communities who are working to change the food system that denies them justice. Their goal is to weave together a movement of people from diverse backgrounds—to learn from the past and find the food movement’s own place in history.
According to Navina Khanna from Live Real, the organization behind the wheels, the Food & Freedom Rides are taking place at an important moment in time:
Right now, over 50 million Americans face food hardship, and today’s youth are the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents—because of the food they eat. We want to show that real food is a real solution—for economic revitalization, personal and public health, and the environment.
The Rides are timely for another reason: the 2012 renewal of the omnibus $300 billion Food and Farm Bill. Crucially, this legislation:
Influencing change in the Food and Farm Bill to support real food and real people will be a worthwhile harvest for the food movement and the Riders are out to plant the seeds of that change.
In the lead up to the Food & Farm Bill debates on Capitol Hill, the road trippers will be engaging youth and communities in creating a Food & Farm Bill platform, developing curriculum to share with educators, and documenting their travels on film.
For the 13 young leaders, Live Real, and the movement for food justice, it’s a road trip to be remembered.
This blog is part of a Slow Food USA summer blog series called Youth Beets—which features stories about young people changing the food system. How are you or young people in your community taking action? Tell us in the comments.