About Our Network
Our Mission: To support students in creating community-based food distribution programs by providing resources and mentorship.
Our Vision: Our New food system, where Community Food Security (CFS) is a reality nationwide. CFS is traditionally defined as:
We are a network of groups across North America developing models for community-based food distribution, and we've joined together to support new projects in new places. Click here to learn more about our Mentors, and click here to learn about our free consultation services.
We believe in a community's ability to provide food for itself—and that students have a part to play in that.
Why We Need A New Food System
The one we have isn't working. Almost 30 million people live in low-income areas with limited supermarket access. In a country with incredible abundance, the troubling relationship between poverty, hunger and obesity is creating a national health crisis.
Our safety net is getting weaker. Industry is getting a clue when it comes to managing waste—and that's leaving food banks struggling to fill growing demand. Our latest Farm Bill cut SNAP significantly—and it's not looking up for 2018. Not to mention that 1 in 4 eligible SNAP participants aren't enrolled.
Even when food waste goes away, hunger won't. We need resources that don't just feed those with the most need, but help communities stretch their food dollars further and make healthy food shopping possible for everyone. Communities can manage their own food system and create markets that welcome and support local economies and advance social justice priorities.
Our Mentors are creating models that go beyond the charitable approach to food access. Click here to learn what they do.
We focus our support on college students and institutions of higher education. Reasons for this focus:
Education is changing.
- Students are looking for ways to go beyond their campus for their education.
- Academia is trending towards applied and experiential learning, social entrepreneurship, and food systems. We need outlets and proven models to make the most of this new energy.
We need amazing new leaders.
- College students want to do something good for the world—and they want to start now.
- To get hired, students need more than a degree. They need experience and leadership skills.
They are a great community resource.
- Institutions are powerful, and that power is potential.
- Students make really good connectors across community assets.