I love food

Food for Thought
Thursday, April 4, 2019
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I love food so much that it is almost all I do now – gaining a better understanding of food access, designing lessons around how food grows, visiting vendors at the River Valley Farmers’ Market, and of course, my favorite, eating.

My relationship with food has been fostered through a variety of experiences, but has ultimately led me to understand that food is the basis for bringing community and conversation together.

Since my first job at a community farmers’ market, everything I have been a part of has been leading to a love and understanding of food. These experiences have allowed me to witness the greater food systems and experience food as part of a larger conversation.

In hindsight, most everything I have come to know and value about a place, I have done so through food.

Coming from the Midwest, food taught me about the kindness and generosity the community of Big Horn County has to offer. Through feeds, fundraisers and friendships, food brings together this community like I’ve never seen. Food is not only a source of sustenance, but a blanket of comfort for all times, through both triumphs and tribulations.

I have been incredibly privileged to experience food in this way. However, for some, due to a variety of circumstance, not all can enjoy that blanket. For many residents, especially children in our county, food is a primary source of anxiety.

According to the Montana Food Bank Network, 1 in 8 Montanans struggle with hunger, while 1 in 5 children face food insecurity at home, or “the inability to access food in a consistent manner, resulting in reduced quality or variety of diet.” Households throughout our community know this from seeing it or experiencing it.

Fortunately, there are incredible people doing incredible work to combat hunger immediately, providing for those who may not have food at home, as well as, eradicating hunger by teaching the skills to grow, harvest and connect with food. Witnessing the dedication towards creating a healthier community through food has been a true pleasure. The number of individuals and organizations working on creative solutions to eradicate hunger, increase access and promote health is outstanding.

As such, each week I will be highlighting the opportunities, resources and work being done throughout this community.