Friday, July 22, 2016

How Do You Set Up A Food Coalition in the African American Community?

July 23, 2016

Dear Cathy: 

I live in a food desert so I was wandering how do you set up a Food Coalition in the African American community? Hungry for Good Food, Texas

Dear Hungry for Good Food:

Food coalitions can benefit everyone, not just the African American community, however, certain communities seems to be more impoverished than others, therefore, setting up food coalitions would be a good option for everyone.

Let's look at some of the issues:

Food Problems In Black Communities:

· Too Many Food Deserts: There are many food deserts in the African American community, where people don’t have access to good food.

· Lack of Farmer’s Markets: There are 6132 Farmer’s Markets today but only two (2) exist in black communities.

· Lack of Participation from Churches: Churches won’t give up the land. We need land to grow the food.

Possible Problems With Food Coalitions:


· People Not Being Organized: People will not follow blind leaders so there must be an appearance of organization. The primary objective of an effective leader is to assist the movement or group to achieve their goals, not his or her personal goals.

· Lack of Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to actually work the land but they must eventually be paid.

Possible Committees for Coalition:

There must be teamwork or committees so that there is no confusion about what needs to be done. Some possible committees could be:

· Research Committee: This committee will work closely with the Economic Development and Education committee to make sure everything is on track. They will answer questions about the coalition and work hand-in-hand with gardeners and farmers to make sure they have what they need.

· Education Committee: This committee will continue education in the classroom (seminars, workshops, teleseminars, webinars, etc.) and outside classes on the land. Will educate community on what to grow and when to grow it, on the soil, Greenhouses, Aquaponics, etc. For aquaponics you need 1/8 of an acre.

· Economic Development Committee: This committee will be over funding/finance and will collect any fees collected in the coalition. They will work with growers on getting small business loans/grants. This committee must be able to take cash and credit/debit cards in person and online. Volunteers growing the food need to be paid.

· Outreach Committee: This community need to commit to wearing t-shirts. They will knock on doors every week to inform families on the coalition and how they can get involved. They will also teach families how to grow foods on porches, in kitchens, gardens, etc. They will conduct outreach in schools, churches, libraries, etc. They will provide GMO training (GMO movie screenings, seminars, workshops, teleseminars, webinars, etc.) to families in their homes, libraries, bookstores, etc. This committee should also lobby legislators every week so we need 2nd and 3rd shift workers to be at Capitol.

· Media Committee: This committee will commit to filming all presentations at meetings or training inside of classrooms and outside, including what is actually happening to the land (before and after pictures). These pictures need to be placed on websites, youtube.com and vimeo.com. You can film any event with a smart phone or purchase a camcorder from hsn.com, or amazon.com. Amazon.com has a credit card. Reach out to retired educators, into schools and colleges, especially film and journalism students, bloggers, etc. to work on this committee. This committee will also present press/media kits with press releases and freelance articles to local newspapers and work hand-in-hand with local reporters. They will also be in charge with setting up radio interviews and interviewing proactive legislators, etc. They can also be in charge of posting information on social media (Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Linkedin.com, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube.com, etc.). They should also be on periscope, facebook live, snapchat, etc.

What Do Coalition Need?

Branding

· Name the Coalition

· Obtain a logo. Work with young graphic designers.

· There must also be t-shirts in all sizes (S,M,L,XL, XLL, etc.) for branding. With crime today, young African American males can’t just show up at a home wearing a t-shirt. They also need some type of badge with picture but phone calls will also be appropriate before they arrive. The outreach committee pictures can be on the coalition’s website so homeowners can view their pictures ahead of time.

· Advertising material needed to brand coalition include letterhead, envelopes, business cards, flyers, newsletters, brochures, post cards, etc.

Funding

· Memberships ($25, $100, etc.)

· Small business loans

· Grants

Professional Online Presence


· Professional Website: Look for young website developers. Need a way to capture emails on website. Need to include videos so others can learn.

· Meetup.com: Meetup.com should also be used to educate the community. Name the meetup.com after the coalition. ALL EVENTS should be posted timely on the meetup.com and the community can go in and sign up for the meetup.com. The cost for a meetup.com group is $19.99 a month for one (1) or three (3) meetup.com groups. The coalition can pay the monthly or yearly fees.

· Print Enewsletters: These will be expensive but strike up business alliance or strategic partnership with a printer and charge business owners $25.00 to $30.00 to advertise their business cards in the monthly print newsletter. Newsletters should be placed around town, especially at high-trafficked areas.

· E-newsletters: These need to be MONTHLY e-newsletters. MailChimp.com is free, ConstantContact.com is $20.00 a month, IContact.com is around $30.00 a month. Others include Aweber.com.

· Training: Training should also be given by video at http://www.zoom.us.You can have 50 people on screen (cost $15.95 a month); Webinars (http://www.GoToWebinar.com) can have 100 people on phone, ipad, or computer (cost $85.00 a month); FreeConferenceCalls.com can have 100 people on the telephone.

How To Make Money With This Coalition:

· Start aquaponics, year-round greenhouses, etc. and sell foods to restaurants and community (Establish time that community can purchase organic foods).


You can read more about organizing in the community in the first book in my empowerment series "How To Take Control of Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide To Empowering Your Family and the Entire Community" (Series 1) - available as an e-book and paperback at www.AngelsPress.com.

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