What is Windham Community Food Network?
For our first blog entry it seems fitting to give a little glimpse of what Windham Community Food Network is all about.
The Windham Community Food Network (WCFN) works to create a more just and resilient local community and food system, by integrating local food system stakeholders in order to identify local needs and opportunities and meet them using local resources. WCFN members include community members, farmers, businesses, food assistance providers, social service agencies, municipal partners, and schools.
To identify and meet community food needs and opportunities using local resources.
The Network is:
a web of community members and food system stakeholders, who exchange resources, experience and wisdom; and
a process of assessment, planning, coordination, implementation and celebration that brings these partners and resources together with local needs to create opportunities for the community.
Sustainability Engagement Barter/Alternative Economy
Collaboration Communication (bilingual) Education
What we do:
Our goal is to create a self-sustaining local food system that centers those most affected by the current inequity in the mainstream food system and redistributes resources already existing in our community. As a result, food grown and distributed here will reflect true constituent wants instead of just meeting basic needs.
Mutual-aid is the framework we use to move toward local resilience and equity. This means facilitating projects and institutions that are driven by community members to promote equitable access- to power and resources - within the community.
Food assistance infrastructure and decision-making is currently driven by funders and service providers rather than constituents. We seek to shift our role from “provider” to “ally” in this process by supporting marginalized voices to organize themselves to improve access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food at the immediate and root causes of this issue.
Our entry to this vision of community is through food access. In the US, food is treated as a commodity, rather than a right. In order to access healthy food, one must have access to employment that provides a living wage. Immigrant community members are particularly vulnerable, and have limited access to employment opportunities. We aim to
build self-resilience among Latinx immigrant households, by connecting them directly with - and giving them control over - food resources, reducing their dependence on income to purchase them.