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School for Food Justice, Faith, and Storytelling Session 5: Systemic Issues in the Food System

On May 20, 2021, Come to the Table hosted the fifth session of our 2021 School for Food Justice, Faith, and Storytelling (SFJFS). Faith leaders from across North Carolina participated in this session, which was held virtually and featured Craig Watts and Tahz Walker of the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA). 

The session began with a conversation about RAFI-USA’s documentary film “Under Contract,” which highlights many issues surrounding the current status of contract agriculture. After sharing their initial thoughts, participants were joined by former contract poultry farmer and current RAFI-USA staff member Craig Watts, who shared his story and fielded questions about food system problems. Craig further detailed the life of a poultry farmer under contract and gave advice to participants on how their faith communities could support contract farmers in their area. After a break, Come to the Table team member Jarred White presented on the history of racial land loss in the U.S. and its effects on farmers of color. Participants were then joined by Farmers of Color Network Senior Program Manager Tahz Walker, who elaborated on the mission and vision of the Farmers of Color Network and provided examples of ways faith communities can partner with farmers of color. 

The 2021 School for Food Justice, Faith, and Storytelling cohort will meet virtually two more times, concluding in July of 2021. Future SFJFS sessions will focus on a theology of hunger, policy advocacy around food insecurity, and creative solutions that churches can undertake in regard to hunger. 

Applications are closed for the 2021 SFJFS. Stay tuned for information about future cohorts and join the RAFI-USA email list to learn about upcoming application rounds. If you are interested in learning more about the SFJFS, contact Michelle Osborne at [email protected]