donate buttonThis is Anna’s first entry in the series “Grist dared me to make a change.” Read the other entries here. And support her dare with a gift to Grist!

Love writingCourtesy of biscotte via FlickrNew York City, my home for the past 15 years, can be gritty and grimy. Its characteristic summertime smell of sweltering trash is a far cry from fragrant flowers and fresh cut grass, but I love this place in all its smelliness and crowded-subway glory.

I especially love it for the hope that springs up — like the relentless green that grows in cracks in the concrete — in our community food projects, urban farms, and community gardens across all five boroughs.

I love it for the creativity here — not just the latest off-Broadway musical, but in the creativity and commitment of the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who work every day to make sure that everyone has access to good, healthy food.

So for my Grist-inspired dare, I decided to bare a little love: For one week, starting July 25, I’ll be sending out poems to a selection of our city’s greatest food heroes: to the amazing projects, city efforts, local businesses, and community-based organizations devoted to transforming our food system.

My little missives will be tokens of thanks to those who get their hands dirty for us, who pick our lettuce and pluck our plums, and who work behind the scenes to advocate for better food policy, access to healthy foods for all, and fairness for food workers.

Through haiku, limericks, sonnets, and free verse, each of my various communiqués will be reminders for all of us to thank those who work tirelessly every day to heal our terribly broken food system, bringing some of those flowers, green space, and good food to a city — and a country — that desperately needs it.

So stay tuned in to Grist… and find out who gets a little love. You can show a little love to Grist, with a donation.