This Small, New York Farm Dismantles Oppressive Food Systems

Photo by Capers Rumph

On a small farm in Grafton New York, a group of people are dismantling oppressive food systems in low-income communities and getting farm-fresh produce to people with limited access to healthy food.

Soul Fire Farm, which was started in 2012, is a volunteer-driven hub for increasing awareness of food issues and providing fresh food to the community. Through food delivery, farming and sustainable living training, youth outreach and more, the farm has gone from a family farm to a model for food justice and building healthy communities.

In three years, Soul Fire has trained 58 apprentices and immersion participants, taught nearly 500 young people about farm based education, leadership, and restorative justice, and delivered 3,980 boxes of fresh vegetables and eggs to families.

Of the farm training participants, 67 percent are people of color. Among farm share members, 33 percent are low income or use SNAP, and 73 percent live in food deserts. Remedying the widespread lack of access to fresh food in low-income communities is at the heart of Soul Fire Farm's mission. As one participant says, “We want healthy food to get to our communities so we can live healthy lives.”

Soul Fire is currently running a fundraising campaign to build infrastructure to meet the growing demand for farmer training, food delivery, and community programming. With just two days to go, they’ve raised over $50,000 of their $100,000 goal.

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