Welcome to my blog! As the coordinator of the Ingredients for Change Campaign, I am spending this year visiting 30 low-income communities throughout the USA that are actively working to create more equitable and accessible healthy food systems to combat food insecurity and disproportionately high rates of obesity and diabetes. It's my job to partner with community groups that help low-income populations gain greater accessibility to healthy food sources. I assist each group in planning a community screening of the feature documentary Food, Inc., in order to create a public engagement and action opportunity, and reach audiences "beyond the choir." The Campaign is being run by Active Voice - my organization - and Participant Media (the film's producer), and is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This blog will provide some snapshots of what I've observed , and some of the inspiring projects and people I've met. I hope you enjoy it - and please feel free to contribute and/or contact me with your questions and perspectives. Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: The views and perspectives expressed in this blog are those of Matthew Green, and do not reflect the positions of Active Voice, Participant Media, or The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vacant Lots to Farming Plots in San Antonio's West End

From Pittsburgh I flew to San Antonio and drove straight from the airport to meet Diana Lopez. An impressive young community organizer, Lopez is only 21, but has already developed a wide breadth of environmental and food justice organizing experience in her native San Antonio. After going through most of high school with her sites on becoming an US Air Force pilot, Lopez’s trajectory changed course during a senior year economics class when her teacher detailed the many environmental health problems in the community tied to pollution from the nearby air force base.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

One Pittsburgh Mom's Drive to Feed Her Family Right

During my trip to Pittsburgh, I met Yejide KMT, a 27-year-old resident of the City’s Homewood neighborhood, mother of five, and founder of the Black Mommy Circle.  Notoriously one of the City’s most dangerous and under-resourced districts (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that it had perennially topped the list for the most violent crime and drug offenses in the entire county), Homewood also has severe issues of poverty, and disproportionally high rates of diet-related health problems and infant mortality. “We’re not even touching the poverty line,” Yejide told me. “We can’t even jump and touch it with our fingertips.”

Friday, May 21, 2010

Food Deserts in the Rust Belt: Pittsburgh, PA - 4/13/2010

On April 13 I visited Pittsburgh, PA. The city was a longtime powerful industrial force in America, a major center of steel and iron production. The economic collapse of these industries in America that began in the 1970’s, left the city’s air much cleaner, but it’s economic health and vitality in a fragile state.

Food insecurity in paradise: Oahu - 4/5/10

In 2008, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture reported that the state – the most isolated island chain in the world, that is strangely part of the U.S. - imports 85 to 90 percent of its food. It’s a hard figure to believe, especially while taking in the view from the Kamehameha Highway, which circuitously winds along the rich coast of Oahu, past fertile farmland and lush green valleys.