JBK (ACG ’17) reports from Puerto Rico during late November 2017 where she was able to build relationships and community with Boriqua food justice workers.
We did a food workshop with a guest chef from #Queersinthekitchen who remixed neighbors’ recipes from what we had in the garden. Queers in the Kitchen is a Boriqua collective of chefs, restauranteurs and food justice workers. Our relationship with them from that cooking workshop has now evolved into me organizing a 13 person trip to rebuild farms and community food hubs in Puerto Rico because of the impact of Hurricane Maria. So the resources have been redirected to support Philly land stewards, growers and artists to go down to Puerto Rico. We also were able to support canning materials and food for folks without food on the island.
The night Maria hit the island we were at dinner with our family from Puerto Rico and were called to action. My comrade Tara Rodriguez Besosa is one of PR’s leaders in the food justice movement with her former restaurant and community food hub EL DEPARTEMENTO DE LA COMIDA. Since September she has mobilized the PR resiliency fund to bring weekly farm brigades as a 24 month relief plan for over 200 community farms on the island. We joined forces with our Philadelphia farming community to bring 13 people to the island with farming, construction and art supplies. While there, we taught arts workshops, rebuilt a roof for a community kitchen, tended to farms and learned so much from our Boriqua brothers and sisters. We found that the work was rooted very deeply and more intentionally because the people coming to serve had also survived disaster and government oppression. We were bound by our fight for liberation and love for the earth. Leeway supported our foundation of building the relationship starting here in Philadelphia that blossomed into the beginning of a movement that will rebuild a whole food system with amazing queer women of color leading the way!
Photos by JBK