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Food Justice Summit 2020: Poverty & Food

AdkAction was proud to be a Keynote Sponsor of the Food Justice Summit for the second year in a row. The Food Justice Summit is organized by the North Country Food Justice Working Group. The 2020 summit took place on Thursday, February 27th at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY, from 9 am to 5 pm. 

Previous Food Justice Summit conferences brought together activists, farmers, consumers, and educators to speak about advocacy, politics, and grassroots organizing. This year’s summit singles out a particular strand of these previous broad issues: poverty and food. This theme reflects the urgency of inequalities in our world and invites conference participants to work collectively as problem-solvers.  

This year, AdkAction had the unique opportunity to introduce the summit’s Keynote speaker, Austin Fredrick. Austin is the Deputy Director of the Thurman Arnold Project at Yale University, an initiative established to generate and disseminate scholarship to impact competition enforcement and policy. He is currently working on a book that calls for restoring the balance of power in America’s food system in favor of farmers, workers, and small businesses.

Austin’s presentation dove into the history of the food system in America and how we’ve gotten to where we are today. He spoke on some of the major issues of our food system and some of the solutions he believes are important to reviving local food economies. It was a perfect presentation to set the stage for the day and share critical information that framed the purpose of our food justice work in the North Country.

After the keynote speaker, there were breakout sessions on the Farm Bill, A Day in the (financial) Life of a Small Farmer, Local Food & Rural Food insecurity and more. Check out the full schedule for the day here.

For lunch, The Hub, in Tupper Lake, brought together local food from multiple farms in our region showcasing beautiful beets, cabbage, a harvest chili, fresh-made bread, and more. It was an incredible bounty of local food even on a wintery day in February.

Following lunch, there were more breakout sessions to attend including:

  • Agriculture and the Green New Deal

  • Food, Farming and Government Panel: View from the front line

  • Well Fed Essex County Collaborative Panel (featuring AdkAction’s Farmacy project)

  • Adirondack Food Pantries

  • Saranac Lake’s Community School Initiative

AdkAction debuted our Farmacy Toolkit: A model for mixed-use food retail alternatives in communities without a traditional grocery store. We had the opportunity to highlight our food access work through participation in the Well Fed Essex County Collaborative panel.

For more information, please visit: http://www.craigardan.org/events/foodsummit2020

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