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Slow Food USA COVID-19 Response

The worldwide situation has changed completely over the last couple of weeks and we now face one of the biggest global crises of our generation due to COVID-19. Many Slow Food leaders, staff and folks in the network have been personally affected overnight, and our network around the world needs critical support. We have collected some of the community response here. We’ve been working on good, clean and fair food for 30 years. The next year will present even more need for resilience in our food community. We must be ready when this lockdown is over, to put Slow Food values at the center of the future. More than ever, the planet needs our sense of community and our idea of life.


The Slow Food USA Response

Slow Food Live

In the midst of this global pandemic, we invite you to deepen your engagement in Slow Food values and techniques. Slow Food Live is a free virtual skill-share series led by pros from the Slow Food network. Some are made just for kids, some get into niche cooking skills; all are accessible and fun. Check out the upcoming schedule here, or explore the playlist.

National Resilience Fund

Slow Food USA, in collaboration with our local chapters and national groups, is setting up a National Resilience Fund to directly support community-based producers so they can continue to provide rural and urban consumers with good, healthy food on a daily basis. Participation will be available to farmers, ranchers, fish-harvesters, and other small-scale producers who 1) prioritize food access to vulnerable communities, 2) play a pivotal role in the local community, 3) respect the Slow Food philosophy of good, clean and fair food, 4) are not able to get enough support from state or federal funds. Learn more here.

Plant a Seed Campaign

This is the time to plant and grow our own food. The Plant a Seed campaign features the Ark of Taste and brings biodiversity, flavor and history into your garden. We put together a cast of endangered and biodiverse seeds that tell a story, with a seed from each of six regions in the United States that have a unique relationship to the land and people there. These seeds tell the complex stories of human migration, from seeds covertly brought to this country by slaves to Indigenous communities fighting for their native land and critical food source. The Plant a Seed campaign opens a door to understand issues of food sovereignty through the journey of seeds. Order a kit here.

Slow Food Mutual Aid Database

The Slow Food Mutual Aid Database highlights all the ways we are mutually supporting each other in this crisis. Slow Food USA is activating its wide grassroots network to aggregate all the ingenious ways local communities are organizing. This Slow Food Mutual Aid database is a location-specific list of community innovation and resources, crowdsourced from everyone and curated by Slow Food chapters and leaders. Please share anything and everything that is a reliable and legitimate aid to all who are vulnerable — for recently unemployed, for students and families, for small businesses, for all. Our hope is that this tool will be valuable locally as a resource guide and everywhere as shared space where ideas can cross-pollinate and spread.

Advocate for Federal Action

Our nation’s small and mid-scale, family farmers and ranchers, community and tribal-based fishers, farmworkers, and food chain workers are struggling. Also struggling are millions of families who cannot access the healthy food they need to thrive and the countless workers who, because of the pandemic, are facing food insecurity for the first time.

We have urged congress to provide for the following priorities:

  • Essential Service designation of farmers markets and Essential Person designation of small and mid-scale family farmers and ranchers
  • Community-based fishers, farmworkers, and essential food chain workers
  • Increased SNAP benefits and cessation of federal efforts to reduce SNAP eligibility
  • Emergency cessation of federal immigration enforcement directed at undocumented farmworkers

Slow Food Solidarity Campaign

The situation in Italy is terrible. The entire country is at a standstill and the SFI staff is now on furlough — not able to work, not able to continue projects, not able to support the network, and surviving on very minimal government support. At a time when they should be in full gear planning Terra Madre (a life-changing event for so many), preserving biodiversity with the Ark of Taste and Presidia, and supporting the network, they are not allowed to work or even leave their homes. This pandemic is threatening the very existence of Slow Food International with far-reaching consequences for Slow Food worldwide.

SFI is the network mothership. We are family — closely interconnected and dependent on each other. It is time to stand in Slow Food solidarity and support our colleagues in Italy. We must be ready when this lockdown is over, to put Slow Food values at the center of the future. We are raising money to support Italy during this crisis. Donate here.

COVID-19 Articles and Updates

Historical African American tapestries that fit on a spoon

Historical African American tapestries that fit on a spoon

This Black History Month, Slow Food USA is celebrating the historic and present-day value of three Ark of Taste crops that are farmed today, have significance for Black communities and promote our mission of good, clean and fair food.

A Black Chef’s Apology

A Black Chef’s Apology

I was blessed to celebrate the 53rd anniversary of my first official meal sold this past weekend, and am truly moved by the number of people who sent me warm wishes and heartfelt congratulations.