When the pandemic hit and seeds were scarce, Reana Kovalcik, Founder of Share a Seed and Slow Food Southeast Regional Councilor, worked with Slow Food USA to pilot a model for sharing seeds and growing resources at the community level. “Share a Seed is a mutual aid-style program,” Reana explained. “I wanted to find a way to democratize seed access, grow community, and redistribute resources at a time when scarcity was all around us. Mutual aid networks are a great way to do that kind of resource and skill-sharing without barriers to access.”
The SFLT Food Bank Garden has grown exponentially each year; in 2021, they were able to feed over 75 locals each week with 388 pounds of culturally appropriate food for a predominantly Latinx recipient base, with the help of over 850+ volunteer hours. The garden also recently gained a full-time garden manager, which has been crucial to the current success of the garden. To fund these operations, SFLT has hosted several fundraisers, auctions, and applied for various local grants through community foundations.
In October 2021, Slow Food Denver co-hosted their first annual seed-saving event at Ekar Farm, an organization that serves as a “focal point for Denver’s Jewish community to come together around issues of food security, environmentalism, and urban farming,” and Spirit of the Sun, an “indigenous womxn-led nonprofit working to empower Native communities, one youth at a time.”