Posted November 10th 2011 at 8:12 pm by
in Equity Summit in Detroit, Food

A Look at Food-led Change in Detroit

Patricia Molina Costa is blogging from the Equity Summit, an annual meeting that brings together those working to advance a truly inclusive American policy agenda.

In Detroit, food is driving change in the city. One of the Equity Summit mobile tours took us to see how community groups and activists are working to turn deficits into assets, empty lots into fresh produce. We visited a great greenhouse and met the farmers, and we talked with social entrepreneurs who are bringing fresh produce into convenience stores, as there is not a single supermarket in the inner city neighborhoods. We had a great dinner at the worker-owned Colors restaurant, which will officially open in a couple of weeks.

However, it is not only about making fresh food accessible to the people. I was shocked when our guide told us that they have also opened several community kitchens, because tens of thousands of people in Detroit cannot cook at home, as they can’t afford to pay for water, electricity and gas anymore. That’s the scale of the crisis Detroit is facing. But despite the challenge, the spirits are high, and it seemed to me that people working on the ground have the kind of mind set that can bring positive change. As someone said, Detroit was able to turn factory noise into Motown music, so who says they can’t turn empty lots into a food mecca?

A farmer explaining the apprenticeship program.

All you can dream of to make a great salad.

One third of the city is made up of vacant lots.

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