25th Annual Journey for Food Justice

On September 19 we hosted Heifer International representative Kate Sheehan to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Journey for Food Justice, a student-initiated 27-mile walk through suburban Massachusetts for food justice awareness. Register now to save your spot!

Students participating in Journey for Food Justice, one of our oldest service events, will leave the CSC on the morning of October 1, stay overnight in Framingham’s United Methodist Church, and arrive in Worcester the following day. From Worcester, students will use vans to reach Heifer International’s farm in Rutland, MA.

We will have vans parked at various locations along the way to offer students supplies, food, and water. Vegans and vegetarians, have no fear! We’ll have dietary options for you.

 “I was very excited and proud to hear that BU has an event like this. We [Heifer International] love to see a group that continues to come. The annual tradition to bring awareness to food justice concerns, for 25 years now, is very special,” said Kate Sheehan, Northeast Community Engagement Manager for Heifer International.

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Sheehan explained how Journey for Food Justice, by bringing awareness and funds to Heifer International, propels Heifer’s mission to end hunger and poverty.

“We’ve helped nearly 25 million families lift themselves out of hunger and poverty, but nearly one billion people around the world are still stuck. Our goal is to help 4 million more families have a livable income by 2020. That’s why events like Journey for Food Justice are so important—raising awareness is crucial to our project’s framework,” she said.

We’re expecting a pool of 15 participants, but we’re prepared to accommodate up to 30. Participants will arrive at Heifer during the Global Harvest Festival, a cultural celebration featuring international crafts, food, and farm animals.

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“[Journey for Food Justice]  has a strong foundation on which to continue for years to come. It is an intimate event, a small group of students engaged in exploration of our communities, their identities, and issues surrounding food justice. It’s a wonderful undertaking for a great cause at just the right time of year as students have settled into the semester, but before midterms loom,” said Zachary Hobbs, Director of the Boston University Community Service Center.

As with all CSC initiatives, Hobbs hopes students glean different information from their own experience of our service programs, projects, and events.

“I hope that some students continue to fuel their food justice fires. I hope others make great friends, sharing in thoughtful, plural conversations that come more naturally during immersive experiences like the Journey…others still may develop a stronger connection to Heifer International, Boston University, or our local landscape,” he said.

Student Food Rescue (SFR), our student-run food salvage program, collects over 5,000 pounds of food each week from Boston restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. The salvaged goods are then brought to recipient sites around the Greater Boston Area.

SFR Program Managers, Taylor Whiteman and Tiffany Guan, regard Journey for Food Justice as a method to inspire conversation across campus.

According to Guan, awareness is the simplest change one can apply. “We have access to multiple dining halls, supermarkets, restaurants and cafes. Our main concern is having the money to buy groceries or go out to eat. So food security does affect us, but in a monetary manner. It’s easy to forget that some people systematically don’t have access to nutritious and affordable food,” she said.

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Journey for Food Justice is organized by our Events and Education Program Managers, Jessica Depies and Mollie Yacano. Depies views Journey for Food Justice as a link, “it connects our Boston University community with the Heifer International community, which is one that exists on both a local and global scale,” she said.

According to Depies, Journey for Food Justice is a symbolic event. “As we walk to Heifer International’s farm, we exhibit our solidarity with Heifer’s mission to the world. Journey for Food Justice not only raises money and awareness for a wonderful cause—it shows students parts of Massachusetts that they have likely never seen before, while building our awareness of local and global food insecurity,” she said.

“We’re very lucky because Heifer International is a huge organization that works with these issues on a global scale, but they have this hub that allows us to look at the way communities link across borders. And Journey for Food Justice has tapped into that, for 25 years now,” she said.

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