Focus on Fresh attended by over 400 people!

Last Tuesday night, more than 400 people turned out for the community screening of Fresh The Movie and to hear Mr. Will Allen of Milwaukee’s Growing Power lead a discussion about the origins of our food and the perils of our industrialized food system.   Additionally, we invited several community-based initiatives to share information about the work they’re doing related to food and our community right here in Racine.

Although our agenda was dealt a serious blow when our guest speaker cancelled due to a personal injury, we could feel no disappointment from the crowd whatsoever.  The energy and enthusiasm in the auditorium at Gifford Elementary School was contagious and inspiring.  We want to thank you for your understanding and generosity of spirit following the news of Mr. Allen’s cancellation.

Dr. Marc Kennedy, a gastroenterologist in Racine, graciously accepted our impromptu invitation to speak about his observations and about the interconnectedness between food and our health.  He discussed the relationship between the food we eat today and the rise in inflammatory diseases:  diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders, etc… and advocated a pro-active, conscious approach to our diets.  Dr. Kennedy and his wife tend an annual kitchen garden (a large kitchen garden) and are mindful of what they eat.

Mr. Robert Beezat of the Racine/Kenosha Community Action Agency ( was present to share information about the work they’re doing in collaboration with the University Extension Offices in both Racine and Kenosha counties.  They’re working with both S.E.E.D and R.U.G.N. to lend critical infrastructure to these worthy efforts.  (S.E.E.D. stands for Sustainable Economic Edible Development and they are, most notably, working to identify a truly local supply chain and to link those suppliers with local commercial buyers of food {nursing homes, restaurants, etc.}).

R.U.G.N is the Racine Urban Garden Network and is an organized effort to not only make green space accessible for the residents of urban Racine who are interested in their very own kitchen garden but to actively promote a strong gardening effort.  Lynne Leitleither was present to tell us that RUGN promotes urban gardening and seeks to increase consumption of foods from local sources through sustainable gardening and farming in the Racine area, and to improve nutrition and the environment in our communities through the networking of education and resources.  RUGN has just secured a large central city lot for the purpose of community plot gardens – with city support.  Visit them on the web at

Amanda DeSonia broadcast her efforts to make backyard chickening legal in Racine.  She has organized the effort, Belle City Chickens, and offers inexhaustible information about owning egg-laying chickens in your own back yard.  Visit them on the web at

Reverend Michael Mueller, minister of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, represented the Racine Interfaith Coalition (RIC) when he invited interested parties to attend Racine Interfaith Coalition’s Issue Assembly on March 18th.  RIC ‘s mission is to address the root causes of social problems and lead to new ways of thinking and acting.  They have a special interest in causes that highlight the connection between social justice and a stewardship role for all of creation.  The issues assembly later this month is an invitation to any and all who are concerned about matters of food and the environment to consider working with RIC to shape an issue that through collaborative efforts can make a significant difference in our community. And of course, other issues ideas are welcome as well.  (

We thank each and every one of you who attended and hope that you have spoken about what you saw and heard to someone else who was not able to join us.  The proceeds from Focus on Fresh go directly to Eat Right Racine to further its mission and activities.  Eat Right Racine offers free and open to the public workshops on the first Thursday of each month and has most recently partnered with a group of private citizens to develop a fresh food co-op here in Racine.

You may check our website regularly; fan us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter…  We encourage you to do so.  We are as interested in hearing from you as in sharing with you.


4 responses to “Focus on Fresh attended by over 400 people!

  1. Congratulations on a spectacular turn out. What you all are doing is just beautiful.
    Keep it up!!!

  2. Thank you Sarah! We appreciate your support!

  3. I was greatly motivated by the turn out of this event. This shows that there are people out there that are aware, that there is a grave danger to our speices with what our food industry is impounding upon us. Although this is just the beginning, I think the more educated people are, the more aware they will be. Then we can take back control over our food. Food industries and pharmaceticals are making big profits off of us. Let’s take control back and save our future, our children’s future !!

    • We were so happy and overwhelmed at the amazing amount of people and support. This is the most pressing issue of our time. People are really starting to understand it. However, we have alot of work to do!

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