Youth Filmmakers Cook Up Food For Thought on Local Sustainability


Image courtesy of Food Day Long Beach.

VoiceWaves, Long Beach’s home-grown youth media publication in partnership with Long Beach Grocery Co-op (LBGC) will screen the full-length documentary Food for Change: A Story of Cooperation in America on Thursday, October 22 at MADE in Long Beach during an event called REEL FOOD: A Night of Docu-Eateries.

Food Day is just around the corner, and as a precursor to the annual celebration of sustainable food practices, the two local entities have invited the public to come and stay awhile for an educational evening of eye-opening on and off-screen dialogue.

Four VoiceWaves youth filmmakers will screen five short films they produced in Long Beach about our city’s food system. Issues addressed include meeting local farmers, eating healthy with diabetes and growing your own food, according to the announcement. Community members that were interviewed in the films will also be present to answer questions after the screenings.

Michelle Zenarosa of VoiceWaves, who has been working with the publication’s youth reporters for the past three years, worked closely with the young producers for REEL FOOD.

“Tomorrow’s string of videos and event in general is really going to be an uplifting experience, we really wanted to tell positive stories about the community,” she said.

She described their compelling focal points: a community member with diabetes who turned his life around by making simple changes to his diet, how a resident with a garden in their backyard helped feed a neighbor, and the story behind the MLK Park youth-run community garden, not to mention meeting the farmers who sell their goods at local farmers markets.

“Like all our events, what we really try to do is spark a conversation, because we know we’re not going to change community trauma overnight or change food activism overnight, but it’s really a chance for people to have a conversation, to learn about their neighbors and what’s going on in their community and to just talk about it, and hopefully it will move toward the path of making change,” Zenarosa said.

LBGC’s mission is to provide the community with affordable, high-quality wholesome foods and products. The co-op just launched an IndieGoGo campaign to open a grocery cooperative in Long Beach by 2017 and is set on working closely with Long Beach’s forward-thinking, public-serving organizations.

“One of the seven cooperative principles is Concern for the Community,” said Damon Lawrence, director of LBGC. “As a startup food co-op, Long Beach Grocery Co-op wants to foster our relationships with groups and nonprofits like VoiceWaves that are providing needed services and education to our community. This is what the cooperative movement is all about.”

REEL FOOD: A Night of Docu-Eateries will take place from 5:00PM to 9:00PM. For the full screening schedule and to RSVP, click here.

MADE in Long Beach is located at 236 Pine Avenue.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.