Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Food Justice Summit proposals due by Jan. 15

2024 Food Justice Summit Announcement

The Adirondack Food System Network is pleased to announce the 6th annual Food Justice Summit. “Stronger Together” is the theme of the full-day conference, and with fifteen organizations now a part of the network, regional collaboration around this topic has never been stronger.

The Adirondack Food System Network is a coalition of multiple organizations working together as equal partners to better understand system-wide issues, identify gaps and develop realistic solutions to help strengthen and promote a more resilient food system. It includes representatives from production, consumption, distribution, processing, and food waste management for a comprehensive approach to problems facing our region.

The Food Justice Summit will bring together leaders across the twelve counties of the Adirondack Park and from all walks of life to discuss pressing topics related to equitable food systems. Its purpose is to empower individuals to become advocates for food justice and to create lasting, positive change in their communities.


Organizers of this year’s summit are seeking proposals for presentation sessions, interactive workshops, and a keynote speaker on the theme of partnership. The event will take place February 29, 2024 at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY. Proposals must be received no later than January 15, 2024. Details can be viewed at the Network’s new website: www.Adkfoodsystem.org.


Beyond the one-day summit, the Adirondack Food System Network is working throughout the year to advance innovative solutions through lasting collaborations that strengthen and improve our regional food system for individuals, the environment and the economy. Thanks to a newly awarded $99,935 grant from the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth), the Summit will kick off a year of regional roundtables and workshops to bring and build capacity in the North Country, supported by a new Program Manager position.


The fifteen Steering Committee member organizations recently released a strategic plan to guide this work. More organizations, agencies, and businesses involved in our food system are encouraged to sign up for the Network’s newsletter, and will soon be invited to join its membership in 2024.


Earlier this year, AdkAction became the new host organization of the Adirondack Food System Network. “As a founding member of the Steering Committee, we are so proud to be a strong champion for the Network as its new fiscal sponsor. Together, we are doing what no individual organization can do alone, and all Adirondack families stand to benefit” said Sawyer Bailey, Executive Director of AdkAction.


Since 2020, the Steering Committee has played an invaluable role developing the Network. It is thanks to their unwavering dedication that these milestones are possible.


“Essex Food Hub is proud to be part of our collaborative Adirondack Food System Network, recognizing that together we can cultivate a sustainable and inclusive approach to nourishing our communities,” said Kim La Reau, Director of Outreach at Essex Food Hub. “NYHealth funding and the recently released strategic plan are two exciting developments that will help the network amplify its impact and grow our shared commitment to strengthening and promoting a more resilient regional food system.”


“LivingADK is just so excited that there is a move towards greater connectivity within the organizations already working in food security in the Adirondack Park,” said Daniel KieferBach, LivingADK Community Development Specialist. “Despite the complexity we face in our food systems, there is no doubt that collaboration and partnership are the pathways to success.”


“Members of Adirondack Food System Network came together during the pandemic and quickly found that together, they could better address access to nutritious food in our very rural region,” said Lori Bellingham, Vice President for Community Impact Adirondack Foundation. “Adirondack Foundation is proud to have supported the launch of AFSN and thanks to NY Health Foundation the Network will be able to work together to ensure all of our neighbors enjoy greater health.”

“The fact that individuals and organizations are coming together in the name of collaboration to tackle some of our region’s most challenging and intractable issues highlights the importance of this work and the need for a multifaceted approach to nourish our region,” said Josh Stephani, Food & Farm Hub Manager at Comfort Food of Washington County. “Comfort Food of Washington County is excited to join this partnership to advance the collective voice of our communities and cultivate a stronger and more resilient food system for all.”


“Collaboration and coordination of efforts are necessary to address the diverse challenges that face our local food system,” said Adam Dewbury, Local Food System Program Director, ANCA. “By providing the space and resources to facilitate these, the AFSN is well positioned to drive the change needed to make our food system more resilient and just.”

Photo at top: 2024 Food Justice Summit Announcement. Photo provided by AdkAction’s Communications and Operations Manager, Kristina Hartzell. 

Related Stories

Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.

19 Responses

  1. Brian Joseph says:

    Cut a bunch of trees down and plant food. Like they did 200 years ago.

  2. Mike says:

    What exactly is “food justice” ? What are they trying to do? What’s a resilient and just food system? Sounds a lot like communism.

  3. louis curth says:

    This article states the following: “The Adirondack Food System Network is a coalition of multiple organizations working together as equal partners to better understand system-wide issues, identify gaps and develop realistic solutions to help strengthen and promote a more resilient food system.” To me.that sounds like some local people and local organizations that want to sort out how work together to build a stronger, healthier community for the benefit of everybody.

    Mike says; “Sounds a lot like communism”.

    I wonder what other Almanack readers think? Or do we even care?

    • CJ says:

      For a lot of folks, anything that promotes helping each other out and trying to solve a problem for the betterment of a community equates to communism. You’re probably better off ignoring Mike.

  4. JohnL says:

    Just curious. Exactly what are the problems they’ve formed this committee to solve? If food is not being distributed ‘equitably’, what does that mean? Are people of some ‘group’ being excluded? Is our food supply not ‘sustainable’ now-? Just seems to be a lot of buzz or trigger words that aren’t explained at all.

  5. Bill Keller says:

    Check out the price of a whole turkey on the Essex Food Hub, $90.50 – $172, eggs at $7/dozen, hamburger at $9/lb. This group pushes buying the “local” farmers product at inflated prices and guess what, they accept food stamps.

    • Tom Paine says:

      Someone is getting filthy rich on those prices.

    • JohnL says:

      I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t pay $90-$172 for 1 whole local turkey, even if it cooked and sliced itself. I’m pretty sure I’d drive to someplace that had turkeys for a couple bucks a pound, even if I had to buy $3.75/gallon Bidenomics gas to do it. If you can guilt somebody into buying at those prices at the Essex Food Hub, go for it. I know their motto is ‘to forge pathways toward a just and sovereign food system in the North Country’ (whatever that means) but it’d have to be REALLY just and REALLY sovereign for me to pay that.

  6. ADKresident says:

    I read the article and then read their entire website and still have firm understanding of what ‘food justice’ actually is? The terms/verbiage being used are either ambiguous or vague.

    So, can someone please clarify? It appears from the comments that I am not the only one needing it to be clearly defined.

    1. What actually defines a resilient and just food system?
    2. And practically speaking, what are the current ways are food system in the ADKS are ‘unjust’ ?

    Thank you.

  7. Charlie Stehlin says:

    CJ says: “For a lot of folks, anything that promotes helping each other out and trying to solve a problem for the betterment of a community equates to communism.”

    Thank you CJ! Our maladies social, political, environmental…….are largely the consequence of ignorance and fear.

  8. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Brian Joseph says: “Cut a bunch of trees down and plant food. Like they did 200 years ago.”

    Sure, but things nowadays are unlike things as they were 200 years ago Brian. For one there’s this thing called ‘Global warming,’ which still hasn’t sunk-in with a large segment of this “great” society; they’re still not convinced even though the glacier in their backyard vanished into thin air. Which is the same thing as saying “you can place a UFO on someone’s shoulder and they’d still deny its existence.”

    We need trees now more than ever! Surely there’s a better way to grow food other than raping what’s left of our forests? Or the Amazon Rainforest! How about greenhouses which will be better in the end game anyway what with all of the rain and flooding we’ve been getting. Ask any farmer up here in the northeast about that and they’ll say “we aint ever saw a thung lack it and we’ve been farming tharty yars!” Besides, there’s rumors going around that say trees are our last hope for to save the planet from becoming an oven…..but we’d better start doing something about it thirty years ago!

    200 years ago they believed in science! That’s another thing! So there was much more hope for us back then, than there is now………….. Food Justice is just one way of giving some sense of hope to people who understand the terminology far-so more than say….Elon Musk.

    • JohnL says:

      Warmer climate by a degree or few degrees in the Adirondacks will mean longer growing seasons and more (and better) locally grown food than ever. You won’t have to reach as far into the ‘southern regions’ for your sustenance. Enjoy our own newly available increased local food sources. You’re welcome and Merry Christmas Charlie.

  9. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “Warmer climate by a degree or few degrees in the Adirondacks will mean longer growing seasons…”

    > Warmer climate also means a change in the ecosystems. Food can be grown in greenhouses salamanders cannot, nor frogs, nor all of the species which rely on that wealth of green space we know as the Adirondacks which would fare better undisturbed by outside influences, including rising temperatures.

    In 2010 ecologist Jerry Jenkins wrote, “Climate Change in the Adirondacks”, which is an excellent case-study on where the Adirondacks are headed what with the Earth turning into an oven the way it has been, even if we’re still getting snow and sub-zero temperatures, which will surely cease to be the warmer it gets. Who really cares anyway as we’ll all be gone by then those of us alive presently!

    Jenkins said: Computer models adapted by the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment predict that if we lower world carbon emissions immediately, northern New York will warm about 5 degrees from 1960 levels in the coming century. If, on the other hand, we continue to use large amounts of fossil fuels for 50 years or more, northern New York will warm about 11 degrees from 1960 levels.”
    Of course things are worse than they initially talked so that Jerry’s book could be revised to keep up with the times, not that anybody reads anything other than ‘Oprah’, ‘Golf Digest’, or the Bible, if they even read at all!

    This book is chock full of data and more than just assumptions on what changes we can expect in the Adirondacks as the earth continues to cook. One mere per example is thus: “Boreal landscapes will turn to woods or thickets. Boreal animals like the marten and loon and boreal plants like the bog aster and purple saxifrage will decline or vanish…….” Your average person doesn’t see these things, nor are they aware they even exist.

    We may be able to start producing more crops but, as you well know by now JohnL, too much rain is no good for them, nor are droughts, two mere byproducts of a warming planet. And what good is food anyway if but for just to stay alive a little longer, and for what if all of the beauty we once had is gone! Who wants to live in that kind of world!

  10. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Happy holidays to you too JohnL, happy every day! …..I really mean that!

    • JohnL says:

      In the immortal words of the Red Baron to Snoopy in the skys over France in 1914…..’Merry Christmas Mein Friend’!

  11. Dan Vitale says:

    I guess I’m not too bright. What is this all about? Food justice? Food security?

  12. Charlie Stehlin says:

    They don’t really define it Dan, but one would surmise that it’s all about better health by way of food, especially for those less fortunate who cannot afford much more than McDonalds (not that they’re cheap anymore) or the Dollar store’s in their neighborhoods, or just about everywhere you shop really, even in the well-to-do areas. You ever look at all of the ingredients in the foods the stores sell? I’m of the mind that the doctors, drug companies and hospitals are ‘in’ with the food corporations. It is unbelievable what most of the shelves in food stores are loaded with, the ingredients in the foods. It’s getting to be that if you’re not rich you are unable to put quality, healthy foods into your system. It is generally cheap food what they sell in stores, no nutritional value. It’s no wonder so many people are sick! Every time I look at the list of ingredients in the foods the stores are selling, just about all of them (minus the health-food stores), I say to myself, “They’re poisoning us!”

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *