Tashiana Shea



Organization: The Stop Community Centre (The Stop)
Location: Toronto, Canada
Year: 2012

MRP/Thesis abstract:

Food A Gateway to Political Change: Transverse Solidarity and the Stop Community Food Centre.

The Food Movement is fragmented in three groups, social service providers, alternative food initiatives, and advocacy and action as it reacts toward the lack of democracy in the food system. Tension exists between the fractions as pragmatic solutions are criticized for allowing the state to download its responsibility onto civil society and policy reform advocates are criticized for not having concrete plans for achieving change or taking a long time, using a lot of resources, and having very little to show for it. A class dimension is added to the tension, creating an even bigger divide within the movement, as how one accesses food is directly linked to ones access to resources, therefore certain forms resistance are only available to those who have the resources to engage. A case study of one Toronto organization, The Stop Community Food Centre, highlights the opportunities and challenges associated with housing all three approaches within one organization for building transverse solidarity that could lead to engaging the state in the movement’s cause.