ECHA task forceFeaturedFriday FeatureTask Force

Friday Feature: Beth Anne Dunagan

By December 8, 2017 No Comments

Today’s Friday Feature is Beth Anne Dunagan, the Executive Director of EAT South, an urban teaching farm in Montgomery.
This is her story:

“What brings me to E.A.T. South and what I’m passionate about is that we are empowering people with skills and knowledge to then go and do on their own. Which I think is one of the best ways, doing work within the community and letting people be who they are and meet them where they are and just say “here’s what we do and how we do it so you can do it too.” And really just putting it in a framework that says “this isn’t hard. Growing your own food isn’t this big complicated, crazy difficult thing- you can do it with very little space or you can do it inside with no space at all.” It doesn’t have to be a big farm that you’re used to seeing in your head.
I have a little tiny garden in my front yard that feeds me just fine so just breaking down those mental barriers to thinking that it’s so much bigger than it really is and making it simple for people; giving them the tools so that they have the confidence to embark on a food journey on their own. I think exposing people to thinking about the food system and thinking about where food comes from, that really just changes behavior, it changes mindsets, and I’m really proud to be apart of that. I think E.A.T South is a good space for those things.
As far as this task force with End Child Hunger, our average here in Alabama is still 1 in 4 kids don’t know where their food is going to come from. We recently conducted a food assessment report where we looked at what are the kind of challenges or issues that are most affecting our community here in the river region.
We waste too much, so the food is out there- we have enough food to feed everybody but it’s just thinking about that concept, we have enough food to feed everybody but we’re wasting too much. There’s just this allocation of resources that isn’t happening and I think the more we just corral together like what we do in this room- everybody working in all these different spaces, the more we can find out where those misappropriations are happening and how we can all work together to mitigate those issues. I’m happy to just bring what we can to that table and be a part of other people who are bringing their assets and we can work together because we are stronger together. “