February 3, 2023

Black Food Futures Gift Box

Black Food Futures Gift Box

This Black History Month, FoodShare is launching a year-long celebration. We’ll be honouring not only the Black past and present, but looking ahead to the incredible potential of Black Food Futures. With a range of activities to come throughout the year, we’re starting with a launch of products in our online shop. Proceeds will support our continuing work on food justice here in Toronto. 

For the visual component of Black Food Futures, FoodShare commissioned Montreal-based illustrator Kadine Lindsay to explore themes of urban abundance, self-sustenance and cultural roots, which resulted in two stunning works: Black Food Utopia and Run a Boat.

“Black Food Utopia”
This is my idea of Toronto when the well-being of Black people are taken into consideration, as well as, when funding is distributed equitably throughout historically marginalized communities. It is illustrating the peace, serenity and high energy that comes with being a part of a flourishing ecosystem. This is my Utopia, not a place with flying cars, and metallic outfits, but a place where the needs of the community are met. A utopia, by my definition, is a place where I can be human in a way that aligns with the goals of my ancestors and the knowledge of my present moments. A Black Food Utopia is a place where Black people know that the growth of food facilitates the growth of the community.
“Run a Boat”
When we talk about “running a boat.” In its simplest definition. It is Jamaican vernacular for cooking some food. This painting is a representation of the commencing moments of Running said Boat. I chose to depict this, because this moment is universal. Being a part of the Black diaspora we know the feeling. The gratitude of having ingredients to make food to nourish the soul, to connect to some nostalgia or to just satisfy that specific craving. I also wanted to illustrate the gratitude of being able to nourish oneself with the help of the community. The moment of pause when you realise, “I exist in an ecosystem committed to the facilitation of the well being of the collective. I think that’s beautiful. 

Lindsay uses animation to tell stories that depict the nuance of the Black Queer Existence. In their work they strive to make people feel seen, heard and celebrated. Their illustrations for FoodShare are featured in a forthcoming set of tote bags as well as on the labels and postcard insert of our 2023 Black Food Futures Gift Box. Sign up to be notified when the totes become available!

Created to spotlight Black businesses during Black History Month and beyond, each box is packed full of delicious snacks, spice mixes and seasonings as well as a beautiful postcard designed by Lindsay. 

Each box contains:

🌞 Organic granola from Canada’s first Black-owned granola company, Kare Granola
🌶️ Kenyan Pilau Masala and Ethiopian Berbere spice mixes from Thirteen: A Social Enterprise
😋 Souse Sweet & Spicy BBQ sauce from Island Sauce
🔥 Spicy Curry Seasoning from Nerpy’s
🎨 A postcard featuring an illustration from Kadine Lindsay
💸 A discount code for shopping on FoodShare’s online store

Boxes will be available at https://shop.foodshare.net/collections/gift-boxes/products/black-food-futures-gift-box.

The concept of Black Food Futures is featured in Dr. Ashanté M. Reese’s 2019 book Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C. wherein Dr. Reese describes Black “self-reliance as a strategy best realized through concerted, collective action that addresses multiple needs.” Her work connects the fight for food sovereignty with the racial justice work of the Movement for Black Lives and drives home the ways in which Black communities are taking collective action to not only respond to a fundamentally unequal food landscape but to plant the seeds of something better.