Food Distribution Partner Spotlight on Christa Núñez
Interview by Nicholas Jayne, February 2021.
Partner Name: Christa Núñez
Location: 272 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850
Christa operates a sustainable agriculture teaching farm in Ithaca, called the Learning Farm. This organization supports natural world exploration as well as STEAM education through summer camps and family learning initiatives. The Learning Farm aims to provide free, high-quality access to the natural world for all kids, with a focus on children of generationally-displaced families. Through this operation, Christa also collaborates with several local grassroots organizations on issues of reparations, literacy, African diaspora, indigenous and refugee community land access, and family agriculture.
Khuba International, the non-profit organization Christa leads, focuses on studying and addressing the effects of historical displacement on current colonized/indigenous and enslaved/diaspora peoples. Khuba studies how cultures that are founded on colonization and the displacement of others continue to operate and affect change on colonized and displaced populations; the organization’s goal is to foster the creation of new systems that focus on the healing and empowerment of oppressed groups.
Christa also owns a full-service media firm, CAN Cooperative Media, that focuses on supporting the marketing needs of community organizations and benefit corporations. It also produces filmed entertainment and community edification films, mainly focusing on supporting community-led storytelling through documentary, photography, blogs, vlogs and art installations.
How Did You Get Involved With FDN?
“Part of our program with Quarter Acre for the People is teaching gardening and healthy cooking… we really focus on the dignity affirming aspects of creating new food systems, but that all takes time… we believe it’s important to help connect people with healthy produce and healthy food in the short term as well, and (FDN) has been a really strong partner in meeting our short-term goals,” Christa says.
How Does FDN Work With Christa’s Organizations?
FDN provides fresh fruits and vegetables to Quarter Acre for the People, who takes the food directly to program participants. These community members use the food to cook healthy recipes for themselves and their families. The Learning Farm also hosts FDN educators, providing them stipends in exchange for lessons about food preparation and food waste.
What Do You Enjoy About Being an FDN Partner?
“We love the partnership with FDN because they are a consistent partner, they have strong ties to the community,” Christa begins. “I love that they’re really a strong connector of local grocery organizations… they continue to provide ways for local grocery stores to support the community. FDN really does help them understand that community investment as a donor is a strong way of developing their business in ways that are intangible but very important.”
Memorable FDN Experience:
“The fact that FDN specifically helped (one of our participant families), a family of a single parent, single father, with several children,” says Christa. “And being a participant in our program, looking forward to being able to get on the land and grow their own food and learn how to garden was exciting for them, but they had some very clear short-term needs around feeding growing boys. FDN stepped up, and they’re one of the families that I help support through FDN’s donations every week.”
Christa went on to describe the happiness and relief that FDN has been able to help her provide for this family.
“I’ve seen the growth and the joy in the boys’ faces; they are receiving this food, and they are trying new fruits and vegetables that they weren’t exposed to before because of FDN’s donations,” she says.
Little Known Fact About Christa’s Organizations:
Christa’s media firm, CAN Cooperative Media, is currently making a film about the interlocking global crises of racial inequality, economic inequality, climate change, and COVID-19. The film, titled Room to Breathe, will focus on ways in which land and corresponding food shortages are at the center of these societal issues.
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