When I was a kid, it wasn’t always just our small family that gathered around the table for holiday meals. If it wasn’t a mash-up with some other families we knew, then it was just as likely a mix of folks whom we knew simply didn’t have any other plans or people to be with.
Maybe their kids were all grown up and far away with their own families. Maybe they didn’t have kids… or a spouse, or parents, siblings, cooking skills or extra money for traveling or a big grocery tab. Whatever the reason, they were welcomed into our unremarkable home and the “good” dishes were brought out, along with as many mis-matched chairs as were needed to seat everyone somewhere, and music always playing in the background. Every now and then, someone would arrive with a dish that had flavors we’d never experienced before; sometimes on purpose, sometimes by accident.
“There’s just something about bringing people to the table, especially around food and music.”
All of this usually made our table a little more crowded and our servings a bit smaller, but it also made the experience a lot richer and our minds a lot fuller. Over the years, we learned a bit about different backgrounds and cultures, perspectives and ideas. We also learned something about listening, thinking, and helping (especially with clean-up). But mostly, we learned about all the things we have in common and the importance of simply being in community together. There’s just something about bringing people to the table, especially around food and music.
The annual Farm Aid festival celebrates family farmers through these two cultural signposts we all share. By bringing people together through food and music, we celebrate family farmers and shine a light on the vital role they play as stewards of the natural resources we all depend upon. After all, food and music – along with the soil, water and air around us – are all essential parts of the communities we share with our families, friends and neighbors.
Next Tuesday, November 28, is GivingTuesday and we hope you’ll consider a gift to Farm Aid – any amount makes a real difference – so that we may continue to bring people together in support of family farmers. Their tireless work is essential to each and every one of us and our tables would be empty without them. Thanks for standing with us!
Our Goal on GivingTuesday
Please join us this GivingTuesday in showing your support for our family farmers. Farm Aid depends upon the support of people like you to provide the critical resources they need to thrive so that we can, too.
Our goal is to raise $50,000 this year for GivingTuesday on November 28, but we can only reach that with your help. You can even give us a head start towards our #GivingTuesday goal by donating today! Stand with Farm Aid and show family farmers just how much we value their hard work.
We’re grateful that a generous group of Farm Aid donors have once again pledged to kick-start our campaign by matching a portion of the donations we receive this GivingTuesday. So when you make a donation to support family farmers, your gift will have double the impact thanks to Yan Besner, Deb & Brian Leedom and Randy Poe.
We asked them to share a few words about why they support Farm Aid:
“With so much division today, I am always comforted knowing that the work of the family farmer – who tirelessly, passionately and with purpose works the land to provide good food for our families – is something that cannot be argued about.
As a fundraiser, donor, volunteer, and champion of Farm Aid, I kindly ask all of you on this Giving Tuesday to help Farm Aid continue their good work assisting the family farmers who continue to take care of all of us.
Let’s never forget to continue taking care of each other.”
– Yan Besner
“Our concerns and worries continue as we can’t believe we are still having to fight so hard for the survival of family farms. We will continue to fight to eliminate food insecurities and for everyone to have fair and equal access to healthy food.
We have seen great progress in communities supporting their local family farms and being interested and connected to where their food comes from. We credit and continue to support Farm Aid because we have seen how much they have been part of the positive change in the good food movement.
Please join us in supporting Farm Aid.”
– Deb & Brian Leedom
“My grandfather was a farmer in Alabama, as were a lot of my Southern neighbors. My childhood memories include getting to spend quality time on many a family farm with my young friends whose parents were farmers.
I remember how those family farmers’ tomatoes tasted. I remember drinking milk when there was still cream at the top of the glass. I had no idea how lucky I was living in a rural area, enjoying food and drink that was literally “farm to table.”
Change for the better is always good, but not all change is for the better. Changing the American food system based primarily on yield and corporate greed is one of the greatest disservices being done to the American people.
We have a long way to go, but I still have hope that the day will come when those who have never had the chance will finally be able to experience what tomatoes, corn, squash, chicken, beef, pork, and milk taste like when they come not from corporate farms but from America’s family farmers.
I’ve been a proud supporter of Farm Aid for many years. I’m also proud to call Farm Aid’s Executive Director – Carolyn Mugar – my friend, along with so many members of the Farm Aid staff. I hope you will join me and give what you can today.”
– Randy Poe
You Can Help Farm Aid Make A Difference
Please join us this GivingTuesday on November 28, to make a difference in the lives of the essential family farmers who provide us with good food, steward our soil and water, and strengthen our communities year-round! Here’s how you can help:
- Make a gift to Farm Aid to help us reach our goal on GivingTuesday
Mark your calendar by downloading this helpful reminder so you don’t forget!
- Spread the Word
Want to see your good deed go even further? Help us get the word out on social media! Post your favorite food and farm photos or tell people why you love Farm Aid and use the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #FarmAid. You can even start your own fundraising campaign to raise even more funds for Farm Aid.
- Eat Well, Do Good
Finally, don’t forget to share your support of family farmers every day by eating good food grown in your community.
Please help us reach our GivingTuesday goal! We’re grateful for your support!