Organizing for a Better Future for all
For many years, the CAE has been working in the local food system, within our communities and with farm and food businesses. But we also knew we weren't reaching everyone...
In 2015, CAE began a listening campaign designed to uncover some of the larger challenges around food access, equity, and independence in our local community. We spent a year learning from community members, low-income neighbors, and faith-based communities - what is it that challenges us as a people in rural VT?
The results were varied, but it led us to realize that we can't do this work alone. Food equity and access are tied up in other issues, such as transportation, livable wages, childcare, opiate addiction and generational poverty. Out of this work has grown Northeast Kingdom Organizing (NEKO) - a regional network of partners who believe that working across sectors and groups is a critical approach to successfully addressing our issues of rural poverty and food insecurity.
As a group, we believe that community organizing around issues is a critical strategy to change the future for the better. We also believe that the tent is wide enough for many partners to work together.
Sponsoring members include:
- Caledonia Grange
- St. John's Episcopal Church in Hardwick
- St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Hardwick
- Friends of NEKO
- Center for an Agricultural Economy
- Danville Congregational Church
- Unitarian Universalist Congregation of St. Johnsbury
- United Church of Newport
- East Craftsbury Presbyterian Church
NEKO's Issues Assembly in January led us to two top issues to focus on for our first research campaign, now underway. Those are: Children, Youth and Families and Transportation. We are beginning the research phase and looking for more sponsoring partners as we grow.