The theme for Month of Service 2022 is "Just Food: Food Access, Equity, and Justice." During the opening lunch conversation on January 6 with Alice Egar '21, a community food fellow with The Food Project, Program Coordinator Geralyn Williams shared more about why we chose this theme and what it means. Here are a few remarks from her introduction:

"At Princeton University we specifically acknowledge that we occupy the ancestral and unceded lands of the Lenni-Lenape and Munsee Lenape peoples. As we gather online today, I’d like to take a moment to consider the legacy of colonization in our technology, systems, education, service and society. We benefit today from equipment and connectivity not available to many communities--technologies whose carbon footprints contribute to our changing climate and disproportionately affect Indigenous peoples worldwide. The same can be said of our food systems; who can grow food, who can eat it, how we eat, who profits and all the inequitable systems at work that make food a privilege and not a right in our communities and around the world. 

"Food justice is a complex movement around food as a human right. It is rooted in the belief that communities everywhere have the right to produce, process, distribute, access, and eat good food regardless of race, class, gender, ethnicity, citizenship, ability, religion, or community." - Geralyn Williams, program coordinator

As you might have heard, our theme for this year is Food Justice. Our practice of community engagement is centered on community knowledge, community challenges, and community solutions. As we’ve navigated this pandemic one topic that was constantly on our minds, in our conversations, and centered in our actions was food accessibility. Before this pandemic it was a systemic deeply rooted problem and now it's only been more exacerbated. Our partners at Arm in Arm, Princeton Mobile Food Pantry, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Anchor House, Send Hunger Packing Princeton, and many more have been on the frontlines of our community creating change and feeding families. We are so grateful to work alongside them this month and all year.

Food justice is a complex movement around food as a human right. It is rooted in the belief that communities everywhere have the right to produce, process, distribute, access, and eat good food regardless of race, class, gender, ethnicity, citizenship, ability, religion, or community. The movement envisions a food system that is inclusive, community-led and participatory, without the exploitation of people, land, or the environment. It identifies and acts to remove the significant structural inequities that exist within our food and economic systems. Food justice activists seek to establish healthy, resilient communities with equitable access to nourishing and culturally appropriate food. This month we are highlighting the leaders and organizations in our community that work to uphold this right through education around food, the growing of food, the policies around food, the accessibility of food, and more. We hope that this time together will connect and empower us in ways that help us support our local communities as well as make decisions and take actions that create sustainable and wide-sweeping change."