The Skinny Pancake’s ShiftMeals Launches Women in Food Systems Webinar Series
The Skinny Pancake’s ShiftMeals program launches 6-part webinar series celebrating women leaders in Vermont’s food system
ShiftMeals announces “A Force to be Reckoned With: Womxn in VT’s Food System” a webinar series running from September 10th to October 15th. The 6-part series will highlight the work, leadership and experiences of women in Vermont’s food system and features over 34 panelists.
The Skinny Pancake launched ShiftMeals this past March as a response to increased unemployment and food insecurity across the state. To date, the program has produced and distributed over 59,000 meals in addition to launching 7 community farms and gardens through their GrowTeam program providing CSAs for on-farm volunteers.
Benjy Adler, CEO of The Skinny Pancake explains, “ShiftMeals began as a dynamic response to the growing crisis of food insecurity that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout. We saw the need to feed people and had the resources to respond, so we did. We produced over 50,000 free meals and launched seven volunteer-powered “GrowTeam farms” around VT. Amidst the social climate this summer, there has been a clear call to action to raise up and empower additional voices in our community. We’ve decided to further use our resources and provide a platform for these voices. This webinar series is a great opportunity to highlight the contributions and perspectives of womxn in our VT food system..”
The series was co-created by Samantha Levine and Zymora Davinchi. Levine has been managing the ShiftMeals GrowTeam program, which Davinchi joined in May to help plant the Northstar Collective Garden in Marshfield. Davinchi has since become one of the managers of ShiftMeals’ BIPOC Food Sovereignty Program, a program she spearheaded in July.
Davinchi says, “Our goal is that this series honors the strength of womxn and femmes in Vermont who are growing food, creating spaces, and advocating for a community-led food system in Vermont. We hope to foster dynamic, thoughtful conversations between leaders in our food system, build community, and help raise awareness and support for each of our panelist’s respective initiatives.”
Levine continues, “As I engaged in this GrowTeam work throughout the Spring and Summer, I was continually inspired by the incredible work being done by womxn across our state. I believe that these were stories that needed to be shared. We started with a long list of prospective panelists, and while there are many more stories to tell, we are thrilled by how many folx were willing to contribute their time and energy to this series.”
“A Force to be Reckoned With” was designed to be inclusive and representative, intentionally highlighting intersectional experiences of oft-marginalized voices. Organizers use “Womxn” and “Femmes” in the series to welcome trans and non-binary identifying individuals. Furthermore, this series gives airtime to BIPOC voices that have too often been unheard. All panelists have been offered compensation, acknowledging the value of these leaders sharing their time. This compensation has been made possible by sponsors and donors, including City Market, who is the series’ presenting sponsor.
“In a world of social distancing, we’re excited to help bring important conversations like these online,” says Mae Quilty, City Market’s Assistant Director of Community Engagement.
The webinar series begins Thursday, September 10th at 12pm, with weekly panels to follow each Thursday. Each webinar will be available to view online after the live event. Panel topics are as follows: “COVID-19 and Vermont’s Changing Food System”, “The Future of Farming is Femme”, “Grassroots Organizing as a Form of Local Resilency”, “Vermont’s New Wave of Agriculture: Womxn in Hemp and Cannabis”, “Impactful Structural Change, Land Soverignity and Reparations”, and “BIPOC Womxn and Femmes: Navigating Vermont’s Food System”. Registration is open to all at www.shiftmeals.org.
About The Skinny Pancake: Originating as a Church Street Marketplace vendor cart in 2003, the Skinny Pancake currently has 8 brick and mortar locations across Vermont. They operate a fast casual creperie restaurant concept with a deep commitment to local sourcing. In addition to providing food and beverage, the Skinny Pancake celebrates their communities and practices philanthropic capitalism through their proud membership of 1% For the Planet. To learn more, visit www.skinnypancake.com
About ShiftMeals: ShiftMeals is a community meals program spearheaded by The Skinny Pancake in partnership with High Meadows Fund, Vermont Community Foundation and the Intervale Center. To date, the program has produced and distributed over 59,000 meals, launched 7 GrowTeam community farms, and a BIPOC Food Sovereignty Program to help center BIPOC leadership in VT’s Food System. The program is funded through individual, corporate and philanthropic donations. To learn more, visit www.shiftmeals.org.