2014-2015 Book Selection
The One Book, One Richmond selection for the 2014-2015 school year was The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis.
It is a book about the transformation of a cramped food bank into a thriving community food center with a mission to revolutionize our food system. The Stop aims to help combat hunger and poverty and argues that everyone deserves a dignified and healthy place at the table.
The One Book, One Richmond committee organized a robust series of events for the campus community on themes found in the book. We kicked off the year with a CCE Brown Bag discussion on food policy in Richmond with guest soeakers Anne Darby of the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission, Dominic Barrett of Shalom Farms, and Duron Chavis from Renew Richmond and Virginia State University. We held a screening of the film Cesar Chavez in the Greek Theatre which chronicled the life of the best known Latino American labor organizer and civil rights activist.
In November we hosted Lisa Davis, Senior Vice President of Government Relations and attorney with Feeding America, at the UR School of Law. Lisa spoke about the impact of food insecurity in communities and ways Feeding America helps to put struggling families on the road to healthy, hunger-free lives. We also led a group of students to visit two organizations doing community gardening in Richmond — Peter Paul Development Center and William Byrd Community House.
We then started 2015 by participating in the MLK Day of Service with a visit to Shalom Farms where we harvested carrots. In February, the UR Center for the Culinary Arts hosted a special cooking class called "Local Cooking 101" where attendees cooked an entire meal made of ingredients sourced locally. Molly Harris, Founder of Fall Line Farms, also spoke to the class about the importance of local food-sourcing and just how to go about it in the greater Richmond area.
In March we hosted Chef Mike Curtin, CEO of DC Central Kitchen, who spoke to the campus about his amazing organization. DC Central Kitchen is America's leader in reducing hunger by recovering food from restaurants, supermarkets, wholesalers, and local farms that would have gone to waste. They turn that product into 5,000 meals a day sent to social service agencies serving D.C.'s most vulnerable populations while also providing meals to schools and fruit and vegetables to stores in food deserts. They also run a culinary job training program for men and women with histories of incarceration, addiction, homelessness, and chronic unemployment.
Our final event of the year was a panel of UR Dining Services representatives who spoke about the University's commitment to sourcing food locally and even growing food on campus.