Even before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, community-based organizations in the Bay Area have led feeding efforts to address food insecurity for vulnerable populations across the region. Many of these organizations have doubled down on their efforts in response to the pandemic and the recent uprisings against white supremacy and police brutality. They’ve focused their efforts on feeding protestors, organizers and those most directly affected by police violence and other systemic inequalities around housing, immigration and labor. The common thread is a recognition that protesting and change-making is an ongoing struggle that needs sustenance in order to succeed. Below is an incomplete list of various efforts around feeding those at the frontlines of the fight for equity and Black liberation. We will update this list once a week to reflect new efforts for protestors and organizers across the Bay Area.
Black Earth Farms
What started off as a group of guerilla gardeners on the UC Berkeley campus, Black Earth Farms is a year-old collective of farmers who’ve been delivering fresh produce to Black residents in the East Bay since last summer. Prioritizing historically marginalized populations, the collective most recently has focused their effort to feed Black protestors in the ongoing uprisings against police brutality leading fundraising efforts on their Instagram page. “We have access to the UC Gill Tract community farm in Albany, that’s where we’ve been doing most of our growing,” explained Minkah Taharkah, a UC Berkeley graduate who serves as a volunteer coordinator for the crew. The impetus to start Black Earth Farms for the founding members of the collective came from the food insecurity they saw on their own campus. “We were all students that were experiencing food insecurity,” Taharkah said, citing that 54% of undergrad students and 38% of graduate students on Cal’s campus are food insecure. Over the course of their year-long tenure, the collective has collaborated with various organizations including Mandela Grocery Co-Operative and Raised Roots.