RISING TO ACTION, Our Local Food System in the Age of COVID-19
"When the pandemic hit, it quickly revealed both the weaknesses and strengths in our food chain. It became blaringly obvious that any sort of fracture or contamination in centralized food production, processing, and distribution would eliminate access for thousands of Americans to their food. We had to turn to our smaller food chains, the ones that had less stops from farm to table, the ones we may have previously overlooked because of the convenience of one-stop shops and year-round access to foods that are not in season where we live. Here in New Mexico, we found another food system, alive and thriving: the small family farms that have been operating for generations, growing the food that will grow in our uniquely harsh high dessert, and sustaining life here for centuries.
The pandemic reached New Mexico in March of this year, when seeds had been planted by these local hands, but not much was ready for harvest yet. Those of us working on the ground in local food distribution met with a sudden drastic increase in interest in the service we have been providing for years, but now was (finally) deemed “essential"..."