Top 10 List from the 2015 New England Food Summit

This blog comes from NAMA’s Coordinating director, Niaz Dorry, who serves on the Food Solutions New England Network Team.

The 2015 NE Food Summit is behind us. Thanks to all those
who made the 2015 NE Food Summit in Boston one for the history books!
Especially the team at the Sustainability Institute at University of New
Hampshire: El Farrell, Colleen Flaherty, Jackie Cullen, Joanne Burke, Johanna Rosen, and of course Tom Kelly as well as the organizing team of Karen Spiller, Ruth
Goldman, and Thai Ha-Ngoc. I must also thank Jedi facilitator Curtis Ogden of
Interaction Institute for Social Change, and our team at NAMA for all they did
to make sure we were a good co-host of this year’s Summit.
Looking back, here is a list of all that left an indelible
impression on me:
10. We can do it! The Summit ended with the breaking news
that the Fast Track bill to rush the TPP was defeated in the house – at least
for now. It was a good reminder that together we can do the imaginable.
9. We all lived in a yellow submarine – temporarily. The set
design during our dinner featured a oceanic theme complete with a yellow
submarine that became an impromptu photo booth! Thanks to our board member
Madeleine Hall-Arbor for the creative decorations.

8. We looked different than the years before. More and more,
the Summits are beginning to look like the rest of our society – ethnically,
culturally, economically, and racially diverse. We still have ways to go, but
it’s great to see how far we’ve come.
7. We were multilingual. For the first time we had
translators at the Summit to make sure all who attended the Summit could be
full participants. With multiple languages spoken by the delegates, we couldn’t
have done it any other way.

A Summit selfie! Me and 170 of our best food system friends!

6. The Caribbean food catered by Stir It Up Cuisine Thursday
night was awesome!
We are grateful that they found most of the ingredients
regionally proving that you can have culturally appropriate food with ingredients
from New England. Click on
this link to see photos of the dinner gathering. 
5. We played games! We’re lucky to have Cynthia Bush on the
NAMA team who makes games as a hobby so she added her creativity to the Summit
by helping us design The Price Is Wrong game to highlight the need for fair
prices and what we can do turn the tide of economic injustice in our food

4. The Food Chain Worker delegation brought their unique
power to the Summit.
They shared their often-heartbreaking stories but also
tales of success about what workers in our food system have to endure so we can
have “cheap” food. Huge thanks to Abel Luna of Migrant Justice and Shira
Tiffany, one of our community organizers here at NAMA, for coordinating the
work that brought this delegation to the Summit.

3. On a personal note, relationships were deepened, new
friendships were formed, and we got to toast to good health and commitments
toward balanced lives.
2. There were babies at the Summit! The future generations
were at the Summit for the first time in the form of one-year-old twins.
Obviously, they are not old enough to work but joined their mom Thelma who was
part of the food chain worker delegation.

1. All you need is love! Okay, love and good food, and of
course clean water. Yes… the word love was invoked on multiple occasions as the secret ingredient that bind us and gives us power. And
we all felt it!

Here’s to 2016 NE Food Summit… in Connecticut!