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
Slow Food Baltimore’s second event of the year celebrating Juneteenth was held on June 18. They partnered with Farmer Chippy’s Plantation Park Heights Urban Farm, a black-owned urban farm in Baltimore. … The event was attended by over a hundred people, mostly from the Park Heights neighborhood, but folks from St. Vincent’s church and other Slow Food Baltimore friends also came out as well. It was a wildly terrific event!
We’ve had an incredible year-long Plant a Seed campaign filled with planting, growing and eating beans — now it’s time to celebrate them together around a table! Our chapters are teaming up with chefs in their regions and are getting creative with how to celebrate and share the stories of the beans from the 2022 Plant A Seed kit in so many inspiring ways, from sit-down dinners to bean street fairs to bean soup fundraisers and more.
On September 22-26, over 200 US-based delegates joined thousands of Slow Food enthusiasts from around the world for Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2022. Hugs, laughter, and joy represented the excitement and energy around gathering as an international movement for the first time in four years.
Slow Food USA is proud to share five incredible multimedia stories from food connectors across the continent who are exploring cultural exchange...
What’s the recipe for good, clean and fair food options in our nation’s schools? Learn from experts who are feeding students, researching policies, and implementing legislation to improve school nutrition programs.
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.”
By Marina Stylianou, Slow Food USA Programs InternThe Ark of Taste is a living catalog of foods which are distinct, delicious and endangered. We...
I am a PhD student researching beans, and I truly think beans are the perfect food. I have yet to meet a food that can check so many boxes: support thriving local food systems, advance sustainability goals and environmental health, culturally relevant to cuisines around the globe, incredibly versatile in the kitchen, delicious, and — of course — nutritious.
Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse is part of our Snail of Approval program, granted by Slow Food Northern New Jersey; the farm sits on 187 acres of land in Milford, New Jersey, and focuses on 100% grass-fed, farmstead cheese, produced on a small-scale regenerative farm. In 2002, when Nina and Jonathan started the project, most landowners were utilizing their properties for tract housing or subsidy farming, causing negative environmental effects and reducing community value. The fields the dairy and bakehouse currently operate on were originally used for conventional crop rotation; the land was barren, pale and parched and faced erosion as well as flooding issues after heavy rainfalls.
Root your approach to health and nutrition in Native American and Indigenous practices. Join us as we learn from three native nutrition experts and explore ways that food connects us to the land, to our ancestors, to our health, and to one another.