A Note for the New Year From Our VP of Equity

Kenya L. Collins
Kenya Collins
Kenya L. Collins, FoodCorps’ VP of Equity

When I meet new people I often tell them the best thing about me is that I am a Mississippi girl. What’s so great about Mississippi? If I had time I would tell you how Mississippi feels like coming home. How you might meet a stranger but part as friends. Of course I would tell you about the beautiful landscape and our amazing literary, music, and food culture. But what I think is most important is our sense of community. Especially in the Mississippi Delta.

In the Delta, children ride to school passing miles of commodity farms. Those babies see lush cotton, an abundance of soybeans, and golden corn, yet their families likely struggle to put food on the table. I ask myself, “How do you live in an area so rich in agriculture, but you could go to bed hungry?”

In places like the Delta one thing is clear: the community takes care of one another. They do their best to make sure every community member has what they need. One of the ways they do this is through partnership with FoodCorps.

At FoodCorps we work to connect children to healthier food in school. One of my guiding dreams is for those babies to have food sovereignty. When children learn how to grow and cook their own food, when they can feed their families and provide for their community—that’s sovereignty.

When I joined FoodCorps four years ago I was responsible for building and maintaining FoodCorps’ community partnerships in Mississippi. Now, as VP of Equity, I’m thinking a lot about how we partner with communities.

We’re not here to “fix” communities. They have the people, resources, and assets to succeed. We just help lift what’s already there. I think about the teacher who grew up gardening with her mom and is now sharing that knowledge with her students. I think about the students that may be having a challenging day who become calm when their hands touch the dirt.

Support FoodCorps this year and you’ll have an impact on how kids experience food in school right now, while helping their communities create a better system—one that works for everyone.

Let’s do it for the babies.