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This City Made Access to Food a Right of Citizenship

By Frances Moore Lappe ~ Yes! Magazine

A city in Brazil recruited local farmers to help do something U.S. cities have yet to do: End hunger.

“To search for solutions to hunger means to act within the principle that the status of a citizen surpasses that of a mere consumer.”

CITY OF BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL

 

In writing Diet for a Small Planet, I learned one simple truth: Hunger is not caused by a scarcity of food but a scarcity of democracy. But that realization was only the beginning, for then I had to ask: What does a democracy look like that enables citizens to have a real voice in securing life’s essentials? Does it exist anywhere? Is it possible or a pipe dream? With hunger on the rise here in the United States—one in 10 of us is now turning to food stamps—these questions take on new urgency.

To begin to conceive of the possibility of a culture of empowered citizens making democracy work for them, real-life stories help—not models to adopt wholesale, but examples that capture key lessons.

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