Entering into a Community-University Collaboration
Reflections from the Whole Community Project
Keywords:Reflective Essay, Food Dignity, Community-based Organizations, New York, Cooperative Extension
When asked to tell the story of how and why I was invited and decided to join the Food Dignity research project, I found myself traveling back over a long road full of unexpected turns, bumps, discoveries, and delights. And as I began to reflect over the five years spent implementing that project in Tompkins County, New York, I was once more awed by the countless stories to be told and knew that, at best, I could offer merely a glimpse of the wonderful and challenging experiences that were ultimately instrumental in learning valuable lessons for cultivating sustainable food systems. In sharing the process and results of being part of such a unique opportunity, I hope to both inspire and challenge readers to explore the possibilities that can exist when the sustainability of our food systems places a high value on everyone experiencing “dignity” in their relationship to food—whether as a consumer, entrepreneur, farmer, composter, or activist....
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