Response to A Pandemic
In 2022, Mutual Aid is still available to help with emergency needs. The Free Food Pantry (in front of the BALE Commons at 35 South Windsor Street in South Royalton) is open 24/7 throughout the year!
Our twice monthly E-News features many covid-safe programs produced locally and from around the world... and we will begin to offer in-person programs once again as conditions allow.
To see what 2022 brings, check out the article below.
Welcome 2022 and a new collaboration that centers racial and social justice by partnering with youth and schools to increase connection to land-based and food system projects. We are Building A Local Economy (BALE), Change The World Kids (CTWK), Upper Valley Farmers Organizers and Landworkers of Color Collective (UVFOLCC), and Regeneration Corps. Join us in this coordinated and interconnected work that will greatly enhances our capacity to respond to the historical moment we are in
A New Vision and a New Collaboration
at this time.
During much of the pandemic year of 2020, we developed what we see as an extraordinary and powerful initiative a bit outside the typical organizational “box” that many group limit themselves to. Bringing together these four different organizations, all with differing missions, we designed this program with a focus on youth, schools, and food systems, all connected through the lens of racial and social justice.
The work already being done by each of the four partner groups is broad and intertwined. We strive to make change from different vantage points - recognizing that change is needed at all levels in order to transform our extractive society into one that values life, relationships, and healing. While there are many frames we could put on our approach, we see each group contributing from -- and interacting with -- a singular facet of the new world we need. And working together, we are helping to create the kind of communities we need for long-term, socially just, and resilient communities.
Here’s a quick example: This spring, we are building a Food Justice garden at The Sharon Academy with students from Change the World Kids, the co-managers of the South Royalton Community Garden, and UVFOLCC farmers. At the same time Regeneration Corps students, who get school credit through the state-supported Flexible Pathways program, work with the UVFOLCC team to establish a BIPOC-stewarded community farm on a piece of land in Sharon recently donated to UVFOLCC. Students from other schools will be building a free community food pantry at the BALE Commons (accessible 24/7 and stocked with produce from the aforementioned new gardens, as well as from the South Royalton Community Garden). In addition, BALE’s role will be telling the story (through documentation such as film, writing and live story sharing) of how this shifting awareness engages youth, farmers, activists and teachers in the social transformation of this time, creating a possibility model for others to emulate.
We seek youth, more partners, learners, activists, artists and gardeners! We especially seek gender fluid, black, latinx, indigenous and all inspired young people prepared to help guide the great transition. Join in by connecting HERE.