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by Slow Food Atlanta Chapter Leader Judith Winfrey

Recently it seems like everybody is talking about food issues.  Thanks to the hard work of writers, farmers activists, and, of course, a certain first lady, our national consciousness seems to be shifting, and along with it, the focus of many individuals and organizations working on food.  Among the developments, we are seeing the definition of good food expand to include the food justice movement.  At Slow Food Atlanta, we’ve been thinking a lot about how to do the work to reflect this change, and improve everyone’s access to food that’s good, clean and fair.  This led to an exploration of the landscape, both physically and metaphorically.  What do we already have in place, and who’s already doing the work?  These questions led us to some dazzling people, places, and organizations, and forged partnerships that strengthen us all. 

In Atlanta’s historic West End neighborhood, we found Reverend Richard Bright at Good Shepherd Community Church’s urban farm — a project, in it’s second year.  On five acres in the heart of the city, the Good Shepherd Garden has the mission of providing delicious, healthy food to congregants and neighbors alike.  Weekly harvest markets take place in front of the church where food is available to anyone for a donation.  Almost simultaneously, we found the Skillet Brigade, the Southern Foodways Alliance burgeoning service corps.