By “food autonomy,” we mean the creation of a healthy, local system for growing and distributing food, made available to all — with preference for the most vulnerable to food insecurity — outside of the barriers posed by both the market and government food assistance programs. In other words: we grow and distribute free food to those who need it in a sustainable way.
Food autonomy is our solution to food insecurity, and to the industrial agricultural system that is ecologically destructive, leading to water pollution, soil destruction, and reliant on fossil fuels and fragile global distribution chains. It is a long-term goal — not something built in a year or two. Rather, it provides us strategic orientation, letting us name the kind of food system we are trying to build.
This year, the Food Autonomy initiative has built a coalition of community gardens, built a dozen chicken coops in backyards throughout the area, and distributed hundreds of pounds of fresh, free food.