The pandemic highlighted inequalities and inequities, in our societies and across the world. But it also sparked an increase in solidarity actions: people and communities coming together to support one another, and most importantly, vulnerable groups. Financed by European Cultural Foundation, with the contribution of CRC Foundation, Slow Food Heroes recounts the stories of those who stepped up to the crisis, in their own words. Some stories show the creativity of individuals, other the relentless work they carried out, and all inspire us to be heroes, in our own way, in our own communities.
The pandemic crisis has thrown the whole globe in deep social and economic crises. The lockdowns and disruptions have shown the fragility of people’s access to food.
Already before COVID-19 hit, 820 million people were already under-nourished, with 2 billion people experiencing food insecurity globally. COVID-19 impacts have led to severe and widespread increases in global food insecurity (World Bank, 2021), affecting vulnerable households in almost every country, with impacts expected to continue through 2021, into 2022, and possibly beyond as the Delta variant continues its spread.
As the crisis unfolds, individuals and communities have not shied to take action, from organizing donations of medical supplies, to working to support farmers in distress and delivering food to isolated vulnerable groups. These heroes are cooks, farmers and food artisans, migrants and groups of young people, among many others.
Solidarity is the key word that Slow Food chose in 2020 to highlight the many initiatives the network took globally to help those in need in the wake of the pandemic. It is a word that continues resonating strongly as the pandemic still does not relax its grips.
Today, Slow Food is launching the Slow Food Heroes project, shining a light on the stories of people who supported their own communities and beyond, in solidarity.
The stories come from span the globe and aim to inspire others to follow in the footsteps, laying the foundations for societies where every single individual can have access to good, clean and fair food.
The Coronavirus crisis is not only a time of resistance, but also an opportunity to cultivate change.
The challenge is to turn the seeds of change into the foundations of new societies. At the same time, we must call out the short-sightedness of business-as-usual solutions that seek to use the crisis to advance the interest of a few.
The Slow Food Heroes stories demonstrate that working together, as communities, in harmony with nature, is the only way forward. Together we have the resilience to adapt swiftly to challenges and respond in ways that are respectful of the local context and cultures. Together we can design our own food systems.