It’s a good thing I don’t get all my information about the world from the media: if I did, I might feel negative and hopeless. Instead, my spirits are lifted just sitting at my desk here at FRB as I learn more every day about the countless, compassionate, caring, visionary people and organizations that are actually helping to bring about good will, justice, food security and a better life to their neighbors all over the globe.
A photo exhibit in the Kalamazoo-Portage MI area shows the good that four of these organizations are accomplishing for others based right here, close to home.
“Food: One Family at a Time (A Photographic Exhibit)” at the Portage District Library December 9-January 29, features photographs that demonstrate the work done by Foods Resource Bank, Tillers International, Fair Food Matters, and Kalamazoo Loaves &Fishes. FRB and Tillers work internationally, Fair Food Matters and Loaves & Fishes are local, yet they have one common theme: helping people to help themselves by using knowledge and understanding of local conditions and resources, combined with appropriate new technologies.
The 19 stunning photographs by FRB’s longtime and very faithful volunteer photographer and videographer, Bruce Hood, anchor the exhibit and capture the everyday lives of real people who participate in FRB’s food security programs. His studies detail how they plant potatoes, sell the food they grow, deal with water scarcity or pollution, winnow grain, or find ways to earn a little money to get ahead. Bruce’s thoughtful captions explain further the realities in the subjects’ communities and how FRB interacts with them to overcome their challenges to bring about lasting solutions.
Tillers International whose mission is to “preserve, study and exchange low-capital technologies that increase the sustainability and productivity of people in rural communities,” showed photographs from communities around sub-Saharan Africa. Subjects included women in agriculture, people making and using manual fodder choppers, and fashioning improved yokes for teams of oxen they then learned to drive.
Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes calls itself a “food bank plus:” their poster showed people collecting and distributing food and providing other services to hungry people in our community.
Fair Food Matters mission is “to build, educate, support and empower our community around local food.” They displayed photographs of elementary school children and their student mentors from Kalamazoo College planting, tending to, and learning from community garden experiences.
This is the kind of news that matters to me.
Administrative Coordinator, FRB