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Review for Institute for Food and Development Policy Inc, Oakland, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Food First is a place for people with open minds. Such an attitude can help you make the most out of the interactions with people from all walks of life that visit or are involved with FF. These people have enriched my own thinking and action, and some of them include David Hilliard from the Black Panthers, Lucas Benitez from the CIW, Graduate students from UC Berkeley and Great Britain, amazing peers from Germany and the US, etc. And of course, among the FF staff there are hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.

Food First is also a place for radicals. Radicals in the sense that the organization pushes for structural change like no other NGO or think tank does out there. For a change, people you talk to will not think anarchism is a synonym of chaos, will be aware that the Black Panthers were not the violent gun waiving terrorists that the media and the government would like us to believe, will know what is capitalism, how it operates, what are its contradictions, etc. Its people who see the system for what it is. (AKA, unplugged from the Matrix)

Lastly, Food First is a place for people who love to cook/eat/share good food and meals. There is a gorgeous garden that provides some of the veggies for the daily vegetarian lunches. You will definitely miss sitting by the stairs with everyone, enjoying a good talk with good food and plenty of sun.

On the flip side, you will definitely find some things you dislike. Like everything in life, Food First is not a perfect organization, but its purpose is essential to the struggles of those who suffer, and its people are genuine. it is absolutely worth your time, energy, resources, commitment and hope.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The way the term Food Sovereignty has become more and more well-known. There is a reframing of food issues from security and sustainability towards ownership.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Organize interns differently to focus their efforts in a narrower scope. Fewer projects, more depth.

Role:  Volunteer & Research and translation work.