How a Life of Political Activism Led to Just Food Hub
When I retired from editing, I wanted to do something that aligned with five important parts of my political work:
- Fighting racism
- Fighting climate change
- Supporting farmers
- Advocating for organic food
- Championing worker coops
In the winter of 2021, I realized Equal Exchange supports all five of my criteria. During March and April of that year, we developed the idea of Just Food Hub, buying products from Equal Exchange and selling them to Vermonters, without going through any corporations. We formed our own small worker coop and began developing our infrastructure. By the end of May of that year, we began sales.
We realized that a sixth tenet of Just Food Hub was to support local organizations. We do that by giving all profits to Vermont organizations working for progressive values.
Examples are 350 Vermont and First:Earth, which work to fight climate change; Migrant Justice, Harvest Hub, Farm to Ballet, East Warren Community Market, and Capital City Grange, which work to support farmers and advocate for organic food; and Marshfield Village Store, a worker coop. We also help support organizations that work to welcome migrants and asylum seekers such as Central Vermont Refugee Action Network, and those that support LGBTQ+ people through the Pride Center and Rainbow Bridge. To support the arts, we contribute to Across Roads Center for the Arts, Plainfield Arts, Shidaa West African dance and drumming group, AllTogether Now, The Mud Studio, and Ballet Vermont. To support students, we contribute to schools and libraries; we help out with Amy’s Armoire, which sells used clothing to support foster families; we contribute to Habitat for Humanity, building housing for those in need; we support political work by the Vermont Progressive Party and Onion River Indivisible; and we support the Vermont Donor Milk Center, providing human milk to infants in need.
Just Food Hub has indeed become the center of our political work and feeling good.