Buffalo Food Stories Project

The Buffalo Food Stories Project engages community storytellers in sharing their stories about food access and food justice in Buffalo. The stories shared are featured on Food for the Spirit’s YouTube channel and participating community members are invited to come together with other storytellers to share their stories. In the near future, we also envision these storytellers will participate in determining how their collective needs and experiences should be communicated to leaders and the public to promote broad food systems change.

In 2020, due to the limitations of in-person interaction because of COVID, stories are being collected via interviews conducted by phone and on zoom. Storytellers can also record stories on their own and send them to the Project Leadership Team by email to Rebekah (at) foodforthespirit.org. As stories are finalized they will be posted on the Food for the Spirit blog on this website and on the organization’s YouTube Channel at https://bit.ly/F4tSonYouTube.

Furthermore, stories will be collected in a manner that considers and honors the Shared Principles developed by the Project Leadership Team. Read on for details about our Shared Principles.

OUR SHARED PRINCIPLES

In July 2020, a leadership team made up of members of the Buffalo Food Equity Network (BFEN) created the following shared principles for the Buffalo Food Stories Project. These shared principles were created to provide a guideline for all decision made about the project. [Scroll down to the end of this page to learn who makes up the Buffalo Food Stories Project leadership team. For information about the BFEN, visit http://bit.ly/bflofoodequity-faqs.

STATEMENT OF ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Note: This is the Buffalo Food Stories Project Leadership Team’s statement on our shared principles.

We are Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) committed to healing our communities from our collective histories of trauma. We created these shared principles to strengthen our community’s food systems by increasing access to food and land.

We know that the food system is built upon land theft and genocide of Indigenous people, the kidnapping and enslaving of Africans, and the exploitation of Black and Brown labor. We believe that it is time to heal from that history of oppression and reconnect our communities to land and food sovereignty.

To begin reversing the harms done, we are engaging with and mobilizing BIPOC communities in sharing our stories and ideas. We acknowledge and respect the leadership of BIPOC communities because we believe that practices rooted in African and Indigenous traditions are integral to our healing process.

SHARED PRINCIPLES

Self-Determination

  • We start with self-determination because it is essential that we speak for ourselves and maintain control of decisions that affect our families and communities.

Community Resilience

  • Healing from the trauma of oppression starts with healing from within, therefore we are committed to self-transformation and adaptation.
  • In order for our communities to heal from the trauma and oppression held in our bodies, minds, and spirits we need to reclaim and center BIPOC leadership, stories, and tools for community transformation and liberation.

Shared Leadership

  • We prioritize shared leadership that reflects our communities and decision-making that includes all voices in our communities.
  • Shared decision-making is an inclusive, democratic-process, that honors member participation and control.

PROJECT LEADERSHIP TEAM

Allison DeHonney, Urban Fruits & Veggies / Buffalo Go Green

Stephanie Morningstar, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust

Dr. Jared Strohl, Buffalo Food Equity Network member

Gail V. Wells, Freedom Gardens and CopperTown Block Club

Rebekah Williams, Food for the Spirit