Starting September 11th, world-class photographer, Glenn Charles, will take off on a sixteen-day bicycle campaign traveling over 400 miles along the way in the name of food awareness. Sponsored by Wholesome Wave, Charles will be stopping at 15 farms, 9 farm to table restaurants, a culinary business incubator, a greenhouse, 3 food pantries, 1 school, 1 University Lab, and 1 group working sustainably with seafood and photographing everything along the way. The campaign is designed to raise awareness about local and regionally grown food.
The folks at Wholesome Wave have brought this campaign together as part of their overall mission. “We bring together networks of community based organizations, farmers, other strategic partners, etc, and we work to make locally and regionally grown food affordable to everyone,” says Ashley Gaudiano of Wholesome Wave.
Wholesome Wave provides numerous important programs, but their most popular is the Fruit and Vegetable prescription program. “The premise behind it is, people who suffer from diet related illnesses—type two diabetes, obesity, etc—can enroll in the fruits and vegetable prescription program with their primary care provider. They receive a prescription that has a monetary value to it that can be taken to the farmers market and be exchanged for fruits and vegetables,” explains Gaudiano. The program is a popular conversation topic for the sole reason that it is so different to anything out there. The prescription program is an actual solution to a problem no one has yet to solve.
And now they’ve come up with the Farm to Table Cycle: A Journey for Change, something they hope can be replicated across the country. The photography campaign is aimed to raise awareness on a variety food related topics, “We’re looking at everything from food access, food insecurity, hunger, and looking at food waste, sustainable dairy and livestock production, sustainable seafood and fishing, and institutional purchasing” Institutional purchasing being schools, restaurants, and other food hubs that support farm to table eating,” says Gaudiano.
The hope is that witnessing these communities and the wonderful work they are doing will set off a revolution. “[We] can sit here and tell stories all day with paper and pen but using images, is extremely powerful.”
Along the trail, people will have the opportunity to meet Gaudiano and the Wholesome Wave team as well as Charles. “We’re hoping that people from these communities will shoot us an e-mail or pick up the phone and come out and have coffee or lunch or dinner with us. We’d love to have people show us their community by bike, and cycle with our cyclist.” Though there is one cyclist, this is not a single journey; it is really a journey for the New England community and the rest of America to take part in.
“Food has caught on hugely in the past few years on the individual level, the organizational level, the corporate level, in media, it’s a trendy thing, but I think people are really backing up that trend with critical work,” and that’s what this campaign aims to highlight. Visit the Farm to Table Cycle Web site to see when Charles will be making it to your neck of the woods.
In the end, “People care about where their food is coming from.”
Photo Credit: Glenn Charles