Food Justice: Think Globally, Act Locally

Tomorrow I will be speaking on a panel at St. Louis University’s Busch Student Center (20 N. Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO), Room 352-353, from 12-1pm. Here is a little blurb written up by the organization hosting the event:

OneWorld Magazine, in collaboration with the Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education and School of Public Health and Social Justice, is proud to present our Atlas Week Event:
Food Justice: Think Globally, Act Locally
Wednesday, April 10th, 12-1:00 PM 
BSC 352-353
Come grab a free lunch sponsored by Pickleman’s and Jimmy John’s and learn about local and international food justice issues! Specifically, our presentation will focus on the issue of food deserts: geographical areas vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods. These food deserts are usually found in impoverished areas, largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers markets, and healthy food providers.
Six experts with notable experience in the area of food deserts (see attachment) will speak about their experiences and efforts to combat the problem of food deserts both locally and internationally. Come learn about what you can do to combat food injustice in your area.
We hope to see you there!

OneWorld Magazine

Speaker Biographies
Dr. Ellen Barnidge is a faculty member in the Department of Behavioral Science. Dr. Barnidge has notable experience with food desert projects and has worked on various initiatives to combat local food deserts. Such initiatives include mapping areas that lack access to healthy foods, holding farmers markets in urban areas, and building community gardens.
Akim Dharmawan is a second year doctoral student at College of Public Health and Social Justice Saint Louis University. He finished his master and bachelor degree in two well-known universities in Indonesia, Padjadjaran University and University of Indonesia. Akim has worked on international humanitarian efforts for the past ten years, and plans to continue his humanitarian work to help those in need. Akim’s main general interests are health and nutrition, behavior change intervention, community development, and monitoring and evaluation.
Marjorie Sawicki is an associate professor in Nutrition & Dietetics and works part-time in the School of Public Health. She has provided technical assistance for the Healthy Eating with Local Produce-SLPS and Healthy Eating with Local Produce grants funded by Missouri Foundation for Health over the past 4 years, provided nutrition and gardening expertise for the NIH Men on the Move grant for the past three years where farm production gardens were developed to increase access to fruits and vegetables, and a Robert Wood Johnson grant for the prevention of childhood obesity through environmental and policy change. She was market manager of the Old Town farmers market in Belleville, Illinois and coordinates a specialty crop grant, Farm to Table for children learning about sustainability and hands-on cooking at the market. Marjorie was appointed by the Governor of Illinois to serve on the Illinois Local Food, Farms and Jobs Council for food policy and her name was submitted in December 2011 for appointment to the Illinois Farmers Market Task Force. In January 2012 she was invited to serve as co-chair for an Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity workgroup. She is responsible for launching the SLU FoodCorps AmeriCorps VISTA program in July 2010 and will soon complete a doctorate in public policy with a research focus in food policy. 
Aaron McMullin is an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer studying food security and sustainable agriculture in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at SLU. She received a Fulbright-Nehru Research Grant in 2011-2012 to study cotton farming and the modernization of agriculture in India. She spent last year learning Marathi and living in a village in rural Maharashtra (a state in central India). She worked directly with cotton farmers, exploring the impacts of new technology and what it is like to grow a commodity to be sold on the global market.
Michelle Erhard has served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for two years in the SLU  FoodCorps. Michelle is ending her VISTA service this month and will stay in the St. Louis area working with City Greens Market at Mid-Town Catholic Charities Community Services. As an undergraduate she studied environmental studies and sustainable agriculture at Green Mountain College in Vermont, where she gained a passion for growing, eating, distributing, and educating about local food. Her favorite tool is a wheel hoe and she loves kale and cows.
Andy Kissinger: Growing up outside one of the country’s poorest cities, Reading, Pennsylvania, Andy Kissinger earned his degree in anthropology with a focus on food systems from the College of Wooster in Ohio. Since his graduation he has spent time farming in Minnesota and a summer in Cleveland working on a variety of that city’s urban farms. Now serving as an Americorps Vista for the International Institute of St. Louis, his assignment focus is establishing a farmer’s market in northern St. Louis, providing fresh fruit and vegetables to a federally recognized food desert.
If you’re in the St. Louis area, stop on by! Who can pass up free lunch and engaging conversation?

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