My pride and ego also gets in the way sometimes. As someone who has overcome the obstacles of being a once low income, female, justice focused advocate I can get bogged down on the way I think things should happen or work out. In some ways my work has broke through a glass ceiling here and there in this little corner of Kentucky which has left me feeling broken and bruised, tired and alone while I watch others move past me more easily and with a more open level of acceptance. During this lenten season I’m working on accepting that and knowing I’m not alone.
Food systems were once built by the gathering of folks for barn raisings, thrashing parties, and hog killings with the simple purpose of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals made to be enjoyed among family with leftovers offered to extended family, neighbors and visitors. When did we think that way of fueling ourselves each day could be replaced by corporations, middle men and more government regulation? How have we come this far and what realistic ways can we make our way back while being inclusive to everyone. Smaller, personal, face to face seems to me the best way to make that happen. Hard work, vulnerability and knowing your neighbor by name-even if they don’t look, talk or act like you. Caring for our own and a few more is the way that communities were once built and I believe that’s the way we may return to a more just food system in the future.
In our snowy little town we’ve seen that sort of face to face, smaller yet meaningful work over the past week. Word spread about the needs of a few hungry people (real people with names) and folks stepped out and did something significant-they shared their food.