Treasured neighbors and friends,

Over the past several weeks, our team and community have borne the weight of a faltering safety net for those with limited access to their basic needs. While our team is committed to fostering safe, vibrant spaces that advance food justice, we recognize that Downtown Ypsilanti, and the MarketPlace have not felt like safe spaces for everyone in our community. We know that we cannot do this work alone. 

As a result of the overwhelming demands placed on our team as it experiences staff transitions, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel Chefs in the Garden this year. We are incredibly grateful to the many chefs, volunteers, guests, and sponsors who invested in making Growing Hope, especially during this tumultuous time. 

Our attention is turned towards fostering a safe and vibrant space at the Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace, and throughout our community.

Like food insecurity, basic needs insecurity is complex. Addressing these issues requires a comprehensive approach that considers the complex ways they intersect. Additionally, basic needs insecurity disproportionately affects marginalized communities. People who experience racism, poverty, and other forms of oppression are more likely to have limited access to their basic needs.

In our work on food justice and sovereignty, we refer to this as “food apartheid.” 

The breadth of these issues is beyond our capacity, yet we are committed to playing our role in addressing the root causes as we build a more just and equitable food system. We are committed to acting according to our values, beliefs, and mission. We are committed to creating welcoming and inclusive spaces that are explicitly anti-racist and support diverse people and ideas. We are committed to using harm reduction strategies as we invest in our local food system.

We are committed to food sovereignty in Ypsilanti. 

By working together to address the root causes of these issues, we can create more equitable and just communities for all. Thank you for being a part of this story as we build a more just and equitable community. 

In solidarity,