Food justice: Who is responsible?

by Jenny van Enckevort
March, 2017

No one should have to go hungry–especially those who labour to feed humanity.

Whether or not we have personally experienced hunger, all of us at coFood have stories to share about witnessing food injustice in the world. We know there is more to the story than the intersections between hunger and poverty, and that the question “Who is responsible?” too often goes unanswered. We understand that food injustice affects everyone, even those who don’t see it firsthand and those who choose not to.

We at coFood are endeavouring to educate ourselves and our peers by learning from folks with experience and insight to share. We choose to take responsibility by inquiring into food justice, to do the work of organizing and empowering ourselves, and to build relationships with food communities around us. By working co-operatively, we aim to resist the oppression of economic and political systems that perpetuate food injustice.

We gathered on Monday, March 20 to celebrate the first day of spring and to inquire into food injustice in our society.

We opened with a reading from the Declaration of Interdependence (David Suzuki Foundation, 1992), which helped frame our discussion for the evening, and which beautifully speaks to our work as a coFood community.

Along with feeling the pain of injustice in my heart and in my belly, I felt relief, inspiration, and the warmth of togetherness while sharing a table with such curious and committed folks.


Raagini Appadurai / Check Your Head

Zsuzsi Fodor / Vancouver Food Policy Council / Greater Vancouver Food Bank

Elise Barber / Vancouver Neighbourhood Food Networks

Community Actions

Please feel free to share upcoming events or calls for volunteers to help engage folks in local food justice work.

Monday March 27 / Presentation & Panel

Joined-Up Food Policy: Local Priorities for National Policy
Vancouver City Hall / Traditional, unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples

“Join us for a stimulating presentation from Debbie Field, Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto, on her top 5 ideas for a National Food Policy, followed by a panel discussion to explore BC priorities for food policy.”

Monday, March 27 / Film Screening

All Our Father’s Relations (祖根父脈)
Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC / Traditional, unceded territory of the Musqueam people

“All Our Father’s Relations (祖根父脈) tells the story of the Grant siblings who journey from Vancouver to China in an attempt to rediscover their father’s roots and better understand his fractured relationship with their Musqueam mother.”

Additional screening Wednesday, April 19 at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery.

Tuesday, April 4 (Deadline) / Vancouver Foundation Grants

Apply by April 4 to earn up to $1,500 in Neighbourhood Small Grants, Canada 150 Small Grants, and Greenest City Small Grants.

Tuesday, May 9 / Vote in the BC Provincial Election


Moving forward together

We are a small group, but we are powerful. We cannot always be there for every event, but we can help boost the signal by sharing information with our vast networks. Our Facebook page is a great place to do this.

We each have the power to witness and speak about the many expressions of oppressive systems—including racism and poverty—that contribute to food injustice in our world, and in our daily lives.

When I reflect on the apparent contrast between my own inheritance of privilege and my desire to dismantle oppression, Rebecca Solnit’s words from Hope in the Dark speak to me. I’d like to share them with you now:

“A gift for embracing paradox is not the least of equipment an activist should have.”

We are always growing our circle of coFood friends! Let us notify you about future coFood events.

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