Food for the Spirit is a non-profit organization committed to racial healing, ecological justice, and equitable food systems. Using the arts and creative facilitation, we cultivate spaces for people to learn from each other and step into leadership roles honoring their unique talents, perspectives, and abilities. Based in the City of Buffalo, Western New York, and the Finger Lakes regions, we engage in training modalities and healing practices from national movement organizations and systems-thinkers to support local communities.
Through Freedom Gardens, 50 households in Buffalo will be supported in starting backyard or front-yard raised-beds and container gardens in their own homes at no-cost. If you are a resident of Buffalo living in any of the following zip codes- 14215, 14213, 14211, 14209, 14208, 14207, 14204- you are eligible to receive supplies and materials for a Freedom Garden at your home.
To request supplies and materials for a Freedom Garden at your home, please complete this form by Friday, May 7, 2021.
Food for the Spirit is supporting the formation of a NYS Black Farmer Marketing Co-op. In conjunction with that project, we are excited to announce that we are seeking a Communications and Marketing Consultant to work with us this growing season to build community and collective marketing strategies with Black farmers in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region located in west-central New York State. The person hired for this position will take the lead on creating a visual campaign that provides fresh insight into the experience of Black farmers in the region and connects those farmers to values aligned consumers and markets.
Photo Credit: Moss Family Fruits & Veggies, Albion NY
Author: Emilie Miyauchi
Co-ops have a long history of facilitating power for rural farmers in the Southern US and globally, but never took deep root in New York State (NYS). It’s past time, and in this era of isolation and crisis of democracy Food for the Spirit is supporting the formation and development of a Black farmer co-op for New York State.
A steering committee composed of NYS Black farmers and stakeholders working to secure food and land sovereignty for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) farmers, met to discuss how a co-op might meaningfully address organizing and infrastructure gaps that have been barriers to Black farmers success.
With only 139 Black farmers of the 57,000 NYS farmers accounted for by the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture, the steering committee found consensus around the idea of expanding those farmers’ visibility by way of umbrella marketing under a unique brand.
The next stages of this cooperative project will see through the work of knitting together values, purpose and identity by marketing together. It’s early, but the vision for what can come of this has been brightening the winter.
Naima Penniman, Soul Fire Farm, featured speaker at First Annual Freedom Garden Harvest Celebration
The first annual Freedom Gardens Harvest Celebration featuring Naima Penniman, spoken word/hip hop artist and Program Director of Soul Fire Farm will be included in the 2020 Buffalo Food Sovereignty Week. Celebrate with us as we tell the story of our resilience, our self sufficiency, our self determination and our desire to thrive and not just survive the COVID virus. As gardeners we were successful in growing organic food in our own backyards! This is unprecedented! You are invited to sign into Zoom on Tuesday, October 13th at 7pm to meet our volunteers, sponsors, the gardeners and their families, hear the plans for next year, learn how to become a freedom gardener and share in our triumphs!
Register for your free event ticket(s) on Eventbrite.com. The first 20 to register on line will get a “gift”!
One tap mobile: +19294362866,.,85164056444# US (New York) or
Dial your your location: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
“We ‘grow’ to support ourselves, control our destinies, and provide for our families while building a healing community that is healthy and well.”
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you have problems accessing Zoom. You must download the Zoom app if you are new to Zoom.
Buffalo Freedom Gardens Partners: Soul Fire Farms, Food for the Spirit, Buffalo Food Equity Network (BFEN), Grassroots Gardens, CopperTown Block Club, Access to A-Free-Ka, Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo, NY, Seeding Resilience, Buffalo Love Your Block, CCE Erie County Master Gardener Program, WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund Buffalo, Fruition Seeds, Urban Fruits & Veggies, Feed Buffalo, Black Ink Press, and the African Heritage Food Co-op