The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

81° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Food Security and Social Justice Network offers upcoming weekend workshop for undergraduates

Angeline Carbajal

Sophomore Kelsie Rogers puts donated food in boxes on the CatTran on April 1, 2015. Participants in the weekend program will learn about ways to identify and address issues surrounding food in the community.

The first annual “Breaking Down Our Food System” program on Friday, April 14 and Saturday, April 15, is open to undergraduates interested in Tucson’s social and environmental food systems.

The UA graduate group Food Security and Social Justice Network is comprised of mostly geography and anthropology graduate students who are committed to teaching and connecting with underclassmen about food issues.

“Breaking Down Our Food System” attendees are scheduled to explore basic concepts on the first day such as food security, food sovereignty and food sheds alongside interactive activities. Two graduate students will teach participants about ethnographic approaches.

Although Tucson’s food system is diverse, it contains some social inequality, according to Megan Mills-Novoa, club co-founder and current Ph.D. Geography student. 

RELATED: Tucson Free Pantry offers solution to food security in Southern Arizona

She says they want to highlight associated social and ecological concerns because of high rates of food insecurity in the city.

Together, students will discover existing food study disputes, develop analytical inquiries and identify where Arizona’s food comes from through global mapping.

“We are hoping they’ll walk away with a different understanding of ways they can think about critical food studies,” Mills-Novoa said. “They’re going to have linkages to grad students that could translate into sustained collaboration [and] letters of recommendation.”

Prior knowledge is not necessary.

Participants will break into groups on the following day to investigate local, regional or global topics. Each unit will have the chance to employ the theories and scientific research methods they learned while visiting various sites.

Trips to the Tucson Village Farm, Iskashitaa Refugee Network, Thunder Canyon Brewery, Food Conspiracy Co-op and Grant-Stone Supermarket will provide attendees with information needed for an evening presentation.

These locations are subject to change.

To support local growers, the Food Security and Social Justice Network is offering honorarium to the sites they collaborate with during the event.

The organization seeks to establish new mentoring relationships, generate new research thinking and encourage underclassmen with their future academic endeavors.

Underclassmen have a rare opportunity to gain experience and practice invaluable, specialized skills with graduates.

RELATED: UA Campus Pantry serves over 130 people each week

“Breaking Down Our Food System” is free. Meals will be provided by farms and venders who reflect their food system values.

This program was made possible with the support from the UA Green Fund.

Space is limited to 25 participants, and preliminary applications are due at before April 1.

Those who miss the loose deadline can apply by contacting Laurel Bellante at as there may be vacancies.

Accepted applicants are required to arrive with water, comfortable walking shoes and an inquisitive attitude. They will be notified on where to meet Friday at 2:30p.m. and Saturday at 9a.m. in the Environmental and Resources 2 Building.

Since the club is comprised strictly of graduate students, they decided to expand their membership by involving undergraduates from the university. Anyone wanting to join the Food Security and Social Justice Network should also contact Bellante via email.

Follow Tori Tom on Twitter.

More to Discover
Activate Search