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Articles by Jessica Kutz, The 19th

Jessica Kutz is The 19th's gender, climate, and sustainability reporter.

Featured Article

This story was originally published by The 19th and is reproduced here with permission.

Sommer Sibilly-Brown didn’t set out to join the food sovereignty movement. The movement found her. 

In 2012, Sibilly-Brown was working as an elementary school teacher in St. Croix, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, when her students presented an idea at an agriculture fair to bring locally grown food to their schools.

Through working on their presentation, the students learned of a national initiative that could do just that. It’s called the National Farm to School Network, and it’s a nonprofit organization that works to connect local farms with school cafeterias — a model that both bolsters local food systems and provides healthier school lunches for kids — a win-win for farmers and their communities. 

But the network didn’t reach the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Sibilly-Brown remembers one of her students asking: If the program was national, why didn’t it reach their territory? 

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