Youth Food Bill of Rights

Rooted In Community Leadership Summit, 5th and MarketPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
    On July 29, 2011 Youth Leaders from all across the nation came together at the 13th annual Rooted In Community Leadership Summit to create a Youth Food Bill of Rights. The Dignity Dialogues that took place to create this declaration inspired us to envision a Healthy Food System and enact Youth Food Bill of Rights. We have faced discrimination based on the color of our skin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, socio-economic status. We envision a food system which will respect our identities while providing us equal access to these rights.We the youth are committed to these rights and believe that all people locally, nationally, and globally are entitled, regardless of , or any and all other forms of discrimination.
    We the Youth declare, state, and demand the following rights for all people around the world with an emphasis on equality.  We demand healthy, organic, local, humane, affordable, sustainable, and culturally appropriate food for all people and especially low income people of color and low income people in our communities that are the most oppressed and hurt by the current food system.
  1. We demand respect for mother earth, for the Food Justice and Food Sovereignty culture, and for the indigenous cultures that are working to establish their own autonomous food systems.  All must respect and protect the land that grows our food.
  2. We demand an end to the mistreatment of workers, farmers, animals, and the environment, that is caused by our current food system.
  3. We demand government funding for more nutrition education, and awareness in our communities, and for all communities.  Education on things such as, but not limited to, health, seasonal produce, and diet related diseases, farming, organic, sustainability, alternative methods of farming and any and all subjects that those communities demand.  People have the right to know what’s in their food, and to decide what to eat.
    We promote educating parents on nutrition and healthy lifestyles.
    Schools in our communities and all over the world must establish and be leaders with the tools and education that promote a healthy lifestyle. We recommend that schools recognize youth lead fitness programs as tools for success.
  4. We the youth demand more healthy food choices in our schools, and in schools all over the world.  We want vending machines out of schools unless they have healthy choices.  We need healthier school lunches that are implemented by schools with the ingredients decided on by the Youth. We demand composting in schools and in our neighborhoods.
  5. We the youth call for the termination of any and all Genetically Modified seeds, plants, and produce.  We want a policy from the governments all over the world that ends GMO’s, no exceptions.
  6.  We the youth absolutely don’t want any chemicals or pesticides in our food!
  7. We the Youth demand a ban on High Fructose Corn Syrup and other additives, and preservatives that are a detriment to our and our communities’ health.  This must be implemented by our government, and governments around the world.
  8. We demand food that is grown within a 100-mile radius of our homes. We don’t want food traveling thousands of miles using up fossil fuels to get to our homes.
  9. We the youth demand that everyone working in the food system must be treated with respect, treated fairly, and earn at the minimum, a just living wage. For all those that are working in the food system we demand a model like the Domestic Fair Trade Association to be implemented.
  10.  We demand the implementation of regulations from all governments and peoples on a global scale that prevent corporations from globalizing our food systems and our world as we recognize this as seriously costly to global and local human health. 
  11. We demand an end to the subsidy of cash crops, including corn and soy beans.  Rather than our tax dollars going to subsidies for industrial farming, we demand financial support for small organic farmers.
  12. We want a restructuring of the process of being certified organic and fair trade.  This must come from the people, and from grassroots movements across the world.
  13. We the youth demand that a policy be enacted allowing for unused land to be made available for communities to farm and garden organically and sustainably.
  14. We believe farmers and all people should have the freedom to save their seed.  Any law that prevents this should be reversed; no law shall ever be made to prevent seed saving.
  15. We demand an end to industrial farming, which accounts for one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Tighter regulation and steps must be made that will decrease the amount of emissions every year.
  16. We demand more farmers’ markets instead of super markets.  The number of farmer’s markets must be increased every year until there are more farmers’ markets than super markets.
  17. We demand the continuation and respect of all cultural history and significance of food and agriculture.  We must work to restore, remember, and regain our food culture, practices, and traditions in farming.
  18. We want healthy options in corner stores while empowering the community to make better food choices.  We demand more jobs for youth to work with our communities to make this happen and help them control their food systems.
  19. We demand school assemblies to recruit more youth to promote food justice.  The continuation of the movement for Food Justice, Food Sovereignty and cultivation of future Youth leaders is necessary for feeding our youth, our nation and our world.
This is only the beginning step in many to come to make our visions, our dreams, and this bill a reality.  This is only the start of our movement.
This week, the RIC planning crew attended staff orientation for the Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI) . Orientation is held for summer staff who will be working in UNI's summer internship program that hires over 100 high school interns in either cooking or gardening service-based sites. Our crew was joined by forty other UNI summer staff including year-round supervisors, college student interns, and UNI alumni interns. Orientation consisted of teambuilding, icebreakers, workshop-planning, as well as seminars on how to engage with youth, conflict-resolution,  the food justice movement, and much much more. We attended to develop skills needed in organizing the RIC conference such as empowering youth, building community, and being food justice leaders! -Lan Dinh Crew Supervisor

For food justice we should have more access to farmers markets, and to allow us as united states citizens  to take charge of our own food system . Our food shouldn’t come from industrial farm areas from far states . We should be able to grow and get food right from our back yard. And by us as youth taking that action step shows not only us, but it shows our community how committed we are.-Kenneth Owens, Teen Leader

The Urban Nutrition Initiative known as U.N.I. is not just an organization , it is a family that I can say a lot of people would be and are happy to be a part of. Doing team building exercises has helped me grow personally by expanding my public speaking skills [and] my one on one skills which I think would help for the Rooted In Community Conference known as July and at work.-Taj Jones, Teen Leader

I learned this week from Karl [Ingrim] that they have many types of definitions of racism which can be good or bad. The racism can be verbally or physically. In verbally you use words to hurt any one or anything. In physically you can actually actions to hurt someone or anything which makes them feel a type of way and makes them give a different perspective on something.-Daniel Lennox, Teen Leader

Doing the team building activities, it has taught me to trust in my group no matter if you close your eyes or whether you have them open. I also, learned that the Urban Nutrition Initiative is full of people that you would never see yourself talking to become one of your closer friends. The other thing that I noticed and felt that I have learned with the team building activities is that you should listen to everyone opinions before starting an activity which can led to complete chaos if everyone does not get heard.-Marissa Herring, Teen Leader

Doing the team building activities taught me a lot of strategies such as what i need to work on, how to deal with different issues, and learning new games.But most of all, I got to meet new people. I also like to say  the Urban Nutrition Initiative is not only a group where you learn about healthy eating or learn about health. This organization is also a place where you can learn more about your self. Having this experience has taught me how to become a better leader/person. -Sara Mondesir 

I learned how to think outside of the box while doing activities that I am not use to doing. It makes things hard if you are not focused on the specific goal. I also learned, how to trust people even though we just met. Trusting people in a work place is the key to success and the success makes a long-lasting friendship.-Anthony Sewell,  Teen Leader

What we grow, how we grow it and what we eat are decisions and choices that are made by kind and upstanding citizens who care so much about their health and eating healthy and also the health of others that they make it a life goal to change all that is wrong in the food system. These people represent the very meaning of freedom of speech, love in culture, and to stand up for what is right .- Matthew Johnson,  Teen Leader

Access to healthy food is not only a diet and lifestyle issue, it is an economic and race issue as well. This week our team had the opportunity to discuss the role institutional power plays in racism with Food Justice movement leader Carl Ingram. I was blown away by the insightful comments made by our students; it made for one of my favorite experiences this week (that and taking pictures with favorite fruit in Fresh Grocer) and was such a great start to summer!-Sherry Yang, Assistant Supervisor

Staff orientation was an amazing energy booster for getting ready for working with youth and help organizing RIC. It prepared me for different situations like when working with teens and being in a difficult situation, what do you do? The icebreakers were a great way to break the ice and also get everyone feeling more comfortable. The summer of 2011 orientation was probably one of the best I've been to by far! I'm soooo PUMPED for RIC 2011!!! WOOOO!- Kiyana Banks, Assistant Supervisor
Check out UNI's facebook!

    Philly RIC Planning Team

    Philly's RIC planning crew consists of ten team members, seven of which are Teen Leaders who are veterans in UNI's cooking, gardening, and business internships.


    July 2011
    June 2011