Family Farm Defenders (Kansas Chapter)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

4-5pm CT, Saturday, 25 October 2014, Ben Sharda, ED, Kansas City Community Gardens and Karin, Program Director, After the Harvest, KKFI, 90.1 FM,, Kansas City, MO

Food Fight! All Lives Matter!
Ben Sharda, ED Kansas City Community Gardens
Karin Page, After the Harvest

             4-5pm CT,  Saturday, 25 October 2014
        KKFI, 90.1 FM,, Kansas City, MO
        On-air call-in number 816 931 5534

A call to Greater KC and beyond citizens, to organize ourselves from the bottom-up to build our collective strength to transform our power relationships with our global, big corporate, industrialized food, agriculture and socio-economic systems, in order to build truly healthy, just, fair and sustainable systems which provide livelihoods with dignity for farm and food workers, and small and family farmers.                                                   .

"Poor diets kill more brothers than pistols.
We're fighting for our lives like Michael Vic's pit bulls.
Dog eat dog, America eats the young,
We die from beef, but more from meat than the gun.
Bullets for breakfast and mass murder meals.
Enemy of the state, and your plate is the battlefield
in this FOOD FIGHT!"

About Ben Sharda & Kansas City Community Gardens

The mission of Kansas City Community Gardens is to assist low-income households and community groups in the Kansas City metropolitan area to produce vegetables and fruit from garden plots located in backyards, vacant lots, and at community sites. KCCG supports Kansas City’s gardeners as they work to transform the food system, along with their nutritional habits, in backyard and community garden spaces throughout the metropolitan area.

For over thirty years, KCCG staff have assisted community and backyard gardeners throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area to improve nutrition, reduce food costs, combat obesity, increase physical activity, encourage neighborhood leadership, and promote locally grown and sustainable food.  KCCG began in 1979 as the Metropolitan Lutheran Ministry’s “Community Garden Project,” an initiative started to help low-income families save money on grocery bills. In 1985, the organization became incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
In 2003 KCCG moved from its original location at the former Old Ballpark Community Garden located at 22nd and Brooklyn to their current location in Swope Park.   
The Swope Park location allowed for larger administrative offices and the building of our Beanstalk Children’s Garden.

KCCG provides free gardening workshops, technical assistance, garden supplies, and other resources to individuals, families, neighborhood organizations, nonprofit agencies, and other groups throughout the metropolitan Kansas City area through the Self-Help Gardening and Community Partner Gardens programs. In addition, KCCG’s Schoolyard Gardens program staff help schools to create and grow gardens to improve students’ knowledge about nutrition and the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables to a healthy diet. KCCG’s Beanstalk Children’s Garden complements the efforts of Schoolyard Gardens staff by allowing school and community groups, families, and other visitors to learn about plant science, food production, nutrition, and insects during summer tours of this unique garden. The Beanstalk includes fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens; a seed and grain garden; the Curiosity Garden, filled with strange and unusual plants; and water garden featuring water lilies and floating hyacinths, fish, and frogs.

About Karin Page & After the Harvest
Karin Page is the founding program director of After the Harvest, where she leads the Gleaning Network and Produce Procurement Program. Prior to joining the staff of After the Harvest, Karin worked as program coordinator for SoSA West for two and one-half years. During that time, she led the Gleaning Network, recruiting, organizing and training volunteers who gleaned fields and orchards to get produce that had been missed by mechanical pickers or passed over by field hands because of physical flaws or imperfections. She also recruited and worked with farmers who donated their fields for gleaning, and those who donated produce that had already been picked but was excess or unmarketable. Karin has degrees in biology and microbiology, which serve her well in her efforts to connect with farmers and understand the challenges and nuances of planting, raising and picking crops. SEND KARIN AN EMAIL

We work with farmers in Missouri and Kansas to glean their fields and orchards after the harvest, to gather up produce left behind by mechanical equipment and pickers. This fresh, locally grown food is delivered to food pantries and feeding agencies in close proximity to the farm where it is gleaned.
Already Picked and Packed

We also work with excess, graded out, or rejected produce that cannot be sold for market reasons. This food may come from commercial farms, produce packing companies, grocery stores, farmers’ markets and more.  We work in Missouri and Kansas, and can locate nearby food banks that will take larger quantities, and food pantries and agencies that will take smaller quantities.

With KKFI KCMO Community Radio Urban Connections host and long-time Kansas City community activist  Donna Morrow Wolfe,, and co-host, Maria Whitaker, Program Director, Local to Global Advocates for Justice, and KC Food Justice,,

Donna Morrow Wolfe
Maria Whittaker with Deyvon(6) and Sherrie(4) ( and their little cousin) 

If you would like to be a guest on the show or have suggestions or comments, we welcome you to email Maria Whittaker at with Food Fight! in the heading. We particularly envision lifting-up the work of youth and those communities the most negatively and directly impacted by our food, agriculture and socioeconomic systems.
Raise consciousness of the impact of our global, big corporate, industrialized, food system on our health, wealth, justice and sustainability, and to
2. Act as a vehicle for us to:
2.1.  Organize ourselves inclusively, from the bottom-up, to build our collective strength to  transform our relationships with our global, big corporate food and agriculture systems in order to build truly healthy, just, fair and sustainable food and agriculture systems which create livelihoods with dignity for farm and  food workers and small and family farmers;
2.2. Take immediate actions now to actualize our basic human right to sufficient amounts of healthy, nutritious and culturally appropriate food and improve community health and wealth by connecting people to programs already in existence, but not yet reaching them, such as:  doubling their food stamps, organic gardening, mobile food pantries, healthy free food pantries, organic farmer training programs and healthy lifestyle support programs, including diabetes and hypertension management, and to:
2.3. Take grassroots advocacy on food policies such as food stamps and farm subsidies to immediately actualize our basic human right to healthy, nutritious and culturally appropriate food.
KC Food Justice List Serve
The easiest way to join our list serve,, where we share news of upcoming events, information and analyses of the nexus of modernization, capitalism, food, health, equality and justice is to send an email to:
You will be automatically be added. We send out anywhere from 1 to 9 messages a month. 
In Conclusion
If you would like Maria to talk to your group about food and health justice, climate justice or related topics,  please email her at She will be available for speaking engagements in the Kansas City area beginning Monday June 16, 2014.
Also check out our facebook pages, Local to Global Advocates for Justice and Food, Health and Environmental Justice Coalition. For more information about our work check out our facebook groups, Food and Health Justice KC, Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba: Growing Food without Oil; and African Food Sovereignty.

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