Buffalo Food Sovereignty Weeks | Harvest Season Food Bag Giveaway

According to the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance: “Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.”

– Declaration of Nyéléni, the first global forum on food sovereignty, Mali, 2007

2021 Food Bag Giveaway Flyer

Since 2019, Food for the Spirit has coordinated Buffalo Food Sovereignty Weeks’ events each year during harvest season, to coordinate efforts of local Buffalo organizations to improve the health and economy for communities of color in Buffalo. With an emphasis on Black and Indigenous growers and food systems leaders, associated events bring Buffalo communities together to learn with and from each other.

As part of Buffalo Food Sovereignty Weeks events this year, Food for the Spirit is coordinating with Lincoln Memorial UMC First Fruits Food Pantry, Urban Fruits & Veggies, African Heritage Food Co-op, and Impacted Families Project on a Harvest Season Food Bag Giveaway.

The Harvest Season Food Bag Giveaway will take place on Saturday, October 23rd in three Buffalo neighborhoods: Hamlin Park, the Fruit Belt, and Broadway-Fillmore. The groups are not pushing out information about the neighborhood distributions because they each have regular patrons who depend on the limited supply of bags provided in their neighborhoods.

But what makes this event different from regularly occurring food distribution events in Buffalo neighborhoods, is that the Buffalo Food Sovereignty Weeks’ Harvest Season Food Bag Giveaway event connects Black food systems activists with Black farmers, food distributors, and transportation systems to strengthen Buffalo’s Black food system.

It is important that Black folks know that we can be more than simply food consumers, we can be owners in the food and agriculture system, and that is what this event is about.

The participating organizations form a food and agriculture system supported by two Black-owned farms producing healthy and culturally appropriate food for the community (Urban Fruits & Veggies and Moss Family Fruit & Veggies), organizations that operate refrigerated box trucks that transport fresh food throughout the city (African Heritage Food Co-op and Urban Fruits & Veggies), and several distribution organizations that host food giveaways in neighborhoods hardest hit by food apartheid (Lincoln Memorial UMC and Impacted Families Project).

If you have questions about the Harvest Season Food Bag Giveaway or Buffalo Food Sovereignty Weeks, contact Rebekah (@) foodforthespirit.org.

This event is made possible through the support from Seeding Resilience and the WNY COVID Response Fund.

Buffalo Food Sovereignty Weeks in 2020

In 2019, we hosted Buffalo Food Sovereignty Week and it was a wonderful way to galvanize around the good work Buffalo Food Equity Network members and partners are doing in the community. (Click here to read about last year’s events). So this year we are doing it again!

In October 2020, during harvest season, local organizations are collaborating once again on several events to improve the health and economy for communities of color in Buffalo. With an emphasis on Black and Indigenous community members and food systems leaders, the events will bring Buffalo communities together to learn with and from each other.

  • Gardening Days – On Saturday, October 10, Food for the Spirit will partner with Freedom Gardens, the Lincoln Memorial Church Garden and Food Pantry, Neuwater & Associates, and the CopperTown Block Club to host a Gardening Days event at two community garden sites stewarded by African American garden leaders in Buffalo.  The virtual event will include stories of the garden and information about these important initiatives.  All are welcome to join the virtual event, which will take place online on Saturday, October 10 at 10:00 AM.  To register, visit http://bit.ly/GardeningDays2020.
  • Freedom Gardens Harvest Celebration – On Tuesday, October 13, everyone is invited to join Freedom Gardens and Food for the Spirit for a celebratory event with Naima Penniman of Soul Fire Farm. This participatory and poetic event will feature inspiring solutions from Freedom Gardens, Soul Fire Farm, and solutions from other BIPOC-led organizations and movements, both past and present. All are welcome to join us on Tuesday, October 13 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. To register, visit https://bit.ly/3lxNLJh.
  • Building Foundations for Food Sovereignty: Collective Leadership & Storytelling – On Wednesday, October 21, the Nexus Community Leadership Learning Initiative will co-host a “virtual visit” with members of the Buffalo Food Equity Network to learn about shared decision-making and leadership processes that are advancing food sovereignty in Buffalo, NY.  All are welcome to join this virtual event, which will take place online on Wednesday, October 21 from 12:00 to 2:00 PM (EST).  To register, visit http://bit.ly/BfloFoodStories2020_Registration.

Everyone is invited to these free and engaging public events! Come out to learn what is going on to make healthy and sustainable diets available and affordable to everyone.

Buffalo Food Sovereignty Week in 2019

During this October’s harvest season, local Buffalo organizations are collaborating on several events to improve the health and economy for communities of color in Buffalo. With an emphasis on Black, Indigenous, and Latinx growers, chefs, and food systems leaders, the events will bring Buffalo communities together to learn with and from each other.

Families are invited to come out for these free public events during Buffalo Food Sovereignty Week:

  • “World On Your Plate” 16th Annual Conference – Fri, Oct 11, from 5 to 9pm, and Sat, Oct 12, from 8:30am to 4:30pm, at Daemen College in Amherst. Details and registration are online at http://www.worldonyourplate.org.
  • “Community Cooks: Decolonizing Our Diets” Panel Discussion & Food Sampling – Tues, Oct 15, 3:30 to 5:30pm, at Gerard Place in Buffalo. Food trucks will arrive on site from 4:30 to 6pm with dinner options. Details and registration are online at bit.ly/decolonizingourdiets.
  • “Farming While Black” Keynote by Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm – Tues, Oct 15, from 6 to 8 pm, at Gerard Place in Buffalo. Food trucks will arrive on site from 4:30 to 6pm with dinner options. Details and registration are online at bit.ly/decolonizingourdiets.
  • “Harvest Festival” Saturday Academy – Sat, Oct 19, from 10am to 1pm at Hamlin Park Academy BPS #74, 126 Donaldson Road, Buffalo NY, 14214. Details and registration are online at bit.ly/HarvestFestivalBPS2019.

Everyone is invited to these free and engaging public events! Come out to learn what is going on to make healthy and sustainable diets available and affordable to everyone.

Click here to pre-register for the Community Cooks and Farming While Black events on October 15.

Click here to pre-register for the Harvest Festival Saturday Academy on October 19.