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Community food security projects

Community food processing

Community kitchen

Networking ideas

Rural-urban partnerships

Urban agriculture and community food production

Community Kitchen. TOP

If food or fuel are scarce, establish a community kitchen in a place convenient for those in need of assistance (schools or churches come to mind immediately, but you can also feed 200-300 people out of a home). Organize cooking and serving teams. Invite people to bring food, cook it together and serve it cafeteria style so that all are fed. (This is a soup kitchen where some or all of the guests bring the food.) Arrange for meals to be delivered to those unable to come to the kitchen. (If fuel is scarce, this may be the most practical way to distribute food.) Generators could be used to power freezers to keep food frozen. Community bread ovens can be built from materials available in most communities, as well as solar cookers, outdoor wood stoves made from barrels, and non-electric hotpots (explained in the Y2K Emergency Notes on Food Preparation).

Community Food Processing. TOP

If there are long-term disruptions of the food processing system, governments or non-profit agencies may distribute emergency foods. If the disaster is prolonged, it is likely that those distributions will be primary agriculture products (whole wheat, corn, soybeans, dried beans, rice, powdered milk, etc. Tasty and nutritious meals can be cooked from these foods, but many people do not have the knowledge or the equipment for home processing of these ingredients. The basic technology required is a way to grind the products. If manufactured grain grinders are not available, grinders can be improvised from steel water pipes.. Soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and other products can be made, and vegetable oils extracted from corn, soybeans, sunflower seeds, and other oil crops. If the weather is not cold, and a generator is available, making ice would be very useful. (Fill containers like cottage cheese tubs or casserole pans with water, freeze, chop up into smaller bits.) It may also be necessary to organize water fetching and purification teams, and a community food processing effort can do this too.

Urban Agriculture & Community Food Production. TOP

About 10% of the world's food is grown within cities. If disruptions are prolonged, it will be necessary to increase this production considerably. Even though y2k occurs during winter, in many areas this can begin immediately in greenhouses and cold frames. Indoor greenhouses, with lights powered by car or marine batteries that are recharged by automobile alternators can be improvised, and seeds started for spring gardens (heat is also an issue here). Seeds can be sprouted. Depending on local resources, other options include fishing (ocean, rivers, creeks, ponds, lakes), hunting, or foraging (very slim pickings in most areas during winter). Even densely populated cities have lots of space for community gardens. Possibilities include street medians, lawns, vacant lots, golf courses, and container gardening on roofs, porches, sidewalks, even streets. Compost heaps can be started immediately, both to help resolve the garbage situation, and to make fertilizer for gardening.

Rural-urban partnerships. TOP

Many cities are surrounded by farming areas, but Y2K disruptions may wreak havoc with normal systems of food production & distribution. Given the insecurities in our food system (even without Y2k), it is necessary to weave new direct relationships between rural farmers and urban consumers. In an emergency situation, farmers will need assistance with planting, harvest, and transportation; new direct market relationships with urban consumers would help with these essential activities. In the old days, cattle and pigs were driven to market on the hoof; this may happen again if the transportation system is compromised by y2k disruptions.

Even if there are no Y2k disruptions, these ideas help add quality to the life of your family and community. In particular, direct marketing relationships between urban consumers and rural farmers will help both consumer and farmer.

Networking ideas. TOP

Work with other agencies or organizations, such as community gardening organizations, neighborhood associations, university extension departments, and food banks to help ensure that nobody is left out in the cold without food.