Food For Thought — October 29, 2013 at 11:10 am

Former ‘Top Chef’ Fights Food Inequality

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global soul project

From the corner stores to fine dining establishments, New York boasts organic, farm-to-table options in abundance. In fact, available healthy food is such the norm that few understand the mass level at which food inequality still exists.

In the same neighborhood as a Whole Food is selling grass-fed meats and chemical-free cookies, lives families who cannot afford to shop there. For many, McDonald’s has long since become the economic alternative to home-cooked meals, while much of Manhattan’s youth spend more time on the streets than at school. In cities like ours across the world, Chef Josie Smith-Malave is stepping in.

As Bravo TV’s former ‘Top Chef’ contestant, Josie has integrated her love for food with her desire for change and founded Global Soul Project. An organization focused on using food to build community, Global Soul Project will deliver healthy food solutions to underserved neighborhoods. It also plans to launch several programs and leadership workshops aimed at empowering today’s youth.

global soul project

Chef Josie explained, “I believe in the power of food and that eating well leads to living a happy life. Through GSP, I am committed to raising awareness around food justice and food equality issues, by encouraging individuals and empowering communities to become fully engaged in addressing these issues.”

Among her foundations’ plan is to initiate cooperative farming on food “deserts” across the globe, bringing fresh, healthy sustenance to urban communities. With goals of establishing these farms on private or city-owned properties, Global Soul Project hopes to empower and engage local individuals. GSP has already announced a 10-city tour to introduce their SOULutions and varied programs to the communities who need it most. In addition to New York, Josie and her crew will visit San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, Charlotte, Miami, New Orleans, Austin, Oklahoma, and Los Angeles.

Though GSP has said they will fund projects themselves, they are actively seeking monetary or physical donations and volunteers to assist them in accomplishing their dreams. And lofty dreams they are.

As weighty as those ambitions may be, it’s hard not to appreciate the confidence with which Josie chases them. So if you do have extra money, or food, or time, consider taking on a fragment of her dreams as your own; when it comes to issues of the underserved and underfed, there’s a bottomless assortment to choose from.

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