Tiffany Bellfield El-Amin was raised in rural Madison Co, Kentucky. She grew up tobacco farming with her grandparents and lived a homestead life. She began community organizing in 2013 around education and food access. She is a doula and her focus has always been children and families. She received her Associates in Science in 2015 and began working with Community Farm Alliance in 2017. She came on to CFA as a Farm to Table Coordinator in the Northeast region of the state. This work grew into her current role as Food System Equity Organizer. She is a steward of her generational land and a conservationist. She shares these roles with her 17 year old daughter Makayla and her partners Wali and Ashley El-Amin.
With a long history in labor organizing, Jose (he/him) has served in several leadership positions at Casa Guatemala, Chicago Interfaith Workers’ Center, Interfaith Worker Justice’s National Workers’ Centers Network, Center for Community Change, and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United – the national organization of restaurant workers. Jose was the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance a national coalition of food-worker organizations that collectively represents over 350,000 workers. Jose is also a 2017 James Beard Award recipient and a 2018 American Food Hero Awardee.
Kelsey (she/her) has spent more than a decade doing work rooted in food and agriculture. She has worked with National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) in the realm of federal food and agricultural policy, national grassroots organizing, and coalition building since 2018. Much of her work is centered around racial equity and justice in multi-racial coalitions and supporting incoming coalition members.
Food for the Spirit and members of the Buffalo Food Equity Network have been instrumental in the development of the Good Food Buffalo Coalition (GFBC), an advocacy organization committed to bringing the Good Food Purchasing Programs (GFPP) to Buffalo and Western New York.
As the CUNY Urban Food Policy Monitor says: “By emphasizing racial justice, elevating the role of Black farmers, and promoting values-based procurement to safeguard the well-being of Buffalo students, the GFBC demonstrates their dedication to inclusive decision-making processes that prioritize the voices and concerns of those most affected by racial injustice in the food system.”
In this interview with the CUNY Urban Food Policy Monitor, Food for the Spirit’s Co-Founding Director, Rebekah Williams, and GFBC Campaign Director, Jessica Gilbert-Overland, talk about the GFBC’s commitment to racial justice, community engagement, and sustainable food systems, and how Food for the Spirit and members of the BFEN have informed the coalition’s development.