UB organizations step up to fight against food apartheid in Buffalo

The Food Lab and Food Recovery Network aim to support marginalized communities in Buffalo: Story by JASON TSOI in SPECTRUM- THE INDEPENDENT STUDENT PUBLICATION OF THE UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO, SINCE 1950

Date: March 4, 2024 | 9:10pm EST

For decades, marginalized communities in Buffalo have experienced food apartheid, which Karen Washington, a food justice advocate, describes as the “root causes of inequity in our food system based on race, class, and geography.”

In response to this systemic problem, UB groups and organizations developed community-based initiatives to support marginalized communities.

Samina Raja, a professor of urban planning at UB, has long been devoted to researching food policy and equity. After graduating with a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Raja became an assistant professor at UB in 2001.

A few years later, Raja founded the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab — better known as the Food Lab — with the support of William McDonnell, who was the chief financial officer of the School of Architecture and Planning at the time.

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