John Townes | Berkshire Trade and Commerce
Multicultural BRIDGE is launching a new initiative that expands its emphasis on economic and social justice into food security. The overall initiative is called Food Sovereignty and Sustainability.
“It’s an exciting concept,” said Gwendolyn VanSant, CEO and co-founding director of Multicultural BRIDGE, which is based in Lee. “It’s an opportunity to help strengthen the local food system, give people more control over their food sources, and also support local farms and producers.”
According to VanSant, the COVID crisis pushed the issue of food security to the forefront at BRIDGE. “Many families were already vulnerable, and with the COVID shutdown many lost their jobs,” she said. “So we intensified our activities to meet these urgent needs. We sought and received support to distribute food to vulnerable families.”
While the program grew out of the COVID crisis, it evolved to become a long-term initiative beyond the current situation, explained VanSant. “We decided that beyond the COVID emergency we wanted to be more strategic and systemic about change, to help make the food system more equitable and work for more people,” she said.