Good Food Life: Andrea King Collier
What is your role in food systems work?
AKC: I write about the food system on many levels and I consult on how to bring more diversity into all aspects of the food work.
How do you work towards the goals of the Good Food Charter?
AKC: As one of the co-facilitators of the healthy food access portion of the original charter with Celeste Rabaut, we worked tirelessly to make sure that diverse voices were heard and their needs were understood. In the time since the Charter was first released, I have maintained my steadfastness in trying to support an equitable, fair and just food system. I am particularly interested in the issues of access and in creating economic stability and community through food. So I write about great examples of this and I also write about the gaps. In my consulting work I try to help bring groups together for change.
What do you find most exciting or inspiring about what you’re doing?
AKC: I love the good stories about change. I love writing about the heroes on the ground who are bringing fresh affordable food to schools and communities. I love telling stories about new economic models in communities of color. It gives me hope.
What opportunities do you see for moving towards the goals of the Michigan Good Food Charter and where do you see those leading in the next five to ten years?
AKC: I think there is a lot of traction in the work of food hubs across the state. I also am excited to see where Detroit will take the growing and access over the next five years. There is some true synergy there that folks don’t hear about, around food and jobs and education. It really is the good food story for me.
I also want to see more energy that goes into the food story beyond the supply side model. I think as time goes on we will, or we should see more action around consumers actually being educated around food preparation. If you build a farmer’s market, they might come, but more folks will come and keep coming if we make sure they can cook a good meal that is affordable and healthy. That’s the culinary geek in me speaking.
What is one thing you’ve learned through your experience with working towards the goals of the Good Food Charter that you’d like to share with others?
AKC: It takes talking and showing and sharing and talking some more. We have to tear down walls. We have to see the humanity in all of this work.