To say that 2020 has been a tough yr to date is probably the most excessive of understatements. We live by way of a worldwide pandemic taking lives, forcing us aside, and wreaking havoc on the financial system and the meals system; the worldwide battle for racial justice sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in Could; and the impacts of local weather change that proceed to hurt communities and farmers with hotter and extra excessive climate.

As dire as our predicaments are, and the way simple it could be to get slowed down in unhealthy information, there are some vibrant moments and indicators of hope. Civil Eats has been steadfastly reporting on the challenges we face, and we've additionally highlighted necessary, good work going down.

For example, folks in giant numbers are reconnecting with their native meals techniques, boosting demand for the work of impartial, small-scale farmers and fishermen, meat processors, and meals co-ops.

Additionally of notice: Many Indigenous communities are returning to conventional foodways to rebuild the meals sovereignty of their tribes; group teams are discovering artistic methods to get wholesome meals to hungry folks; and advocates and organizers all through the meals system are preventing for social justice and local weather resilience, and making noteworthy good points.

Regardless of the doom and gloom dominating the headlines, folks throughout the nation are nonetheless demonstrating compassion, ingenuity, and solidarity as they work collectively to unravel issues and get up for what they consider is true.

Civil Eats has shone a lightweight on many such inspiring efforts with our reporting this yr, and whereas we take a much-needed publishing break this week, we wish to go away you with some “excellent news” to carry onto. Please be part of us in believing that, regardless of all of it, there may be at all times cause to have hope.

Group Supported Agriculture Is Surging Amid the Pandemic A CSA box share

Individuals are signing up for CSAs in file numbers. May the once-struggling mannequin maintain small farms by way of laborious instances—and past? in Puerto Rico are Rising a Tradition of Social Justice and Local weather Resilience

After Hurricane Maria, a whole lot of younger farmers, many ladies, have established daring approaches to agriculture—and their concepts are resonating past the island.

A Fair Food Standards Council auditor interviews a worker

After #MeToo, This Group Has Almost Erased Sexual Harassment in Farm Fields

On massive farms, defending ladies and men from sexual violence has required a cultural shift. Our reporter spent weeks with the Coalition of Immokalee Employees, documenting their efficient strategies of training, monitoring, and enforcement.

Delivering food to the Navajo Nation. (Photo © Nate Lemuel)Meals as Medication on the Navajo Nation

This Native-run coronavirus aid effort might assist the Navajo Nation turn into extra resilient over the long run.


Harlem Grown's Tony Hillery. (Photo courtesy of Harlem Grown)

How Black Communities Are Bridging the Meals Entry Hole

Amid the pandemic and racial-justice uprisings, Black organizers nationwide are getting contemporary, wholesome meals and groceries to those that want it most. COVID-19 Disrupts the Industrial Meat System, Impartial Processors Have a Second to Shine

Huge Meat put most small slaughterhouses out of enterprise. These left are demonstrating their resilience, however their restricted numbers level to the necessity for improved infrastructure.

Logan Stern, Robin Patel, Terrence Smith, Michael Adyson Strickland, and Noran Sanford (left to right) stand in the pasture they've created outside the prison yard at the Scotland Correctional Center, which was decommissioned in 2001.

Youth Are Flipping an Deserted North Carolina Jail right into a Sustainable Farm

By reworking a decaying jail right into a flourishing farm, these younger males are avoiding the felony justice system—and making a mannequin to share.

a woman harvesting squash in a chaos garden fieldMost Farmers within the Nice Plains Don’t Develop Fruits and Greens. The Pandemic is Altering That.

Amid huge tracts of wheat and corn destined for world markets, some farmers are planting cowl crop mixes designed to be harvested by their communities.

Milling wheat at Ibis Bakery in Kansas City. (Photo credit: Ryan James Carr)

Flour Scarcity? Amber Waves of Regional Grains to the Rescue

A grain and flour professional fanatic says the native flour revolution is tastier, more healthy, and has created extra sturdy markets.


Residents of the Spirit Lake reservation tending their community garden. (Photo by Heidi Zeigenmeyer)

Restoring Meals Sovereignty on the Spirit Lake Reservation

With a grocery retailer, conventional backyard packages, and an emphasis on cooking, the northern North Dakota tribe is reviving its meals system by way of conventional meals.

hands scooping piles of lentils and other pulse cropsPlant-Primarily based Diets and Regenerative Ag Have Sparked a Pea and Lentil Renaissance

Well being and environmental issues are driving ‘phenomenal’ development for these humble pulse crops, which supply soil in addition to dietary advantages.

kristyn leach explaining seed saving with her mustard plants.Gardening is Necessary, However Seed Saving is Essential

Specialists say saving seeds is a vital piece of the meals sovereignty puzzle. Plus: Video ideas to make sure subsequent yr’s crop.


Vietnamese immigrant urban farmer Tham Nguyen tends vegetables at VEGGI co-op farm. Photo by Sarah Sax.

A Vietnamese Farmers’ Cooperative in New Orleans Presents a Lesson in Resilience

VEGGI Co-op has weathered Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Now, it’s going through the dual threats of the coronavirus pandemic and local weather change.

Working with Airline Caterers, this Startup Nonprofit Has Delivered Over a Million Mealsdelivering airline meals to the hungry with project isaiah and gate gourmet. Photo courtesy of Project Isaiah

Challenge Isaiah shortly made use of idle airline catering infrastructure to supply meals to hungry folks in 11 cities nationwide.


From left: Katie Bishop of PrairiErth Farm, Michael Boehle of Antiquity Oaks Farm, Nicholas Walter of Green Top Grocery. (Photo courtesy of PrairiErth and Green Top Grocery)

Group Meals Co-ops Are Thriving Throughout the Pandemic

In comparison with supermarkets with empty cabinets and lengthy strains, co-ops’ long-term give attention to constructing resilient foodsheds is paying off.


A dairy farmer delivering feed to his herd.To Keep away from Dumping Milk, Dairy Farmers Discover New Market at Vermont Meals Banks

In Vermont, and throughout New England, the dairy trade is coming collectively to help struggling farmers and hungry households.

Freshly caught fish for sale at the Dockside Harbor market. (Photo by Mark Armao)

A San Diego Pier-to-Plate Seafood Market Is a Lifeline for Fishermen

When wholesale and restaurant markets closed down, the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market shortly constructed up direct-to-consumer gross sales within the native meals shed.

Exchanging seeds. (Photo courtesy of Dream of Wild Health)

Feeding an Indigenous Group and Rematriating Seeds in Minneapolis

The nonprofit Dream of Wild Well being grows meals to battle insecurity and creates meals sovereignty for Native People hit laborious by the pandemic and ongoing racial justice protests. Eats TV: Regenerative Ranching in a Pandemic

Loren Poncia of Stemple Creek Ranch explains the alternatives and challenges elevating livestock with regenerative practices throughout COVID-19.


Marlo Paul, M.D. (right), and Anthony Paul, Ph.D.The Physician-Botanist Couple Therapeutic a Group within the Rural South

In Alabama’s Black Belt, the place COVID charges are excessive and hospitals are understaffed, Dr. Marlo Paul and her plant biologist husband, Anthony, are making home calls and offering free natural treatments from their very own farm.

Prime picture by Jake Value.