VOICES FROM THE FOOD FRONTLINES

Pandemic & Beyond

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, local food producers, grassroot networks, independent food businesses and social enterprises, and other food frontline actors fed their communities in the face of increased food insecurity, supply chain blockages, and widening social inequities. Research shows the urgent need for knowledge dissemination on local food stakeholders — food security advocates, community gardens, independent grocery stores, farmers, street and market vendors – who have developed and enacted innovative solutions against considerable logistical and social challenges.

This SSHRC Connections project is therefore holding participatory training and knowledge-sharing events and is establishing a web-based archive for outreach. Its online platform (soon to come) will feature the voices of people active on the pandemic food frontlines – describing their experiences and practices for sustainable food futures – and connect these voices to the insights of an international scholarly team. It will enhance prior collaborations to connect academic research and local food voices from Canada, the US, the UK, and the global South.

The series of events in this project will host include workshops, colloquiums, and multisensory experiential learning sessions through which team members and paid student interns will develop a multi-media web archive that explores local food voices, role in pandemic recovery, and best practices for moving towards sustainable food systems. New content will include podcasts featuring interviews with workers from the food frontlines as well as photos, recipes, ephemera, and written reflections from food consumers and producers. The events’ training sessions on the production of audio, visual, and written narratives will be recorded and preserved within the archive as curricular tools. In sum, the events will lead skill-building, showcase the new multi-media content and its connections to research, and teach participants how to use and interact with the archive to develop their own future iterations of voices from the food frontlines.