Living Our Healthy Ever After

A behind-the-scenes review of Raleigh City Farm's first "Healthy Ever After" dinner series from Board Apprentice Kristin Caddick.


In partnership with the Jamie Kirk Hahn Fund, Raleigh City Farm invited food system stakeholders to the table to discuss the intersection of immigration, identity, and food. This served as our first gathering in our 2019 Healthy Ever After dinner series, hosted in honor of farm volunteer and passionate Raleighite Jamie Hahn. With local food legend Bill Smith as the moderator and award-winning chef Oscar Diaz preparing tamales, dinner guests engaged in conversation about how our country’s changing, and heavily controversial, immigration policies directly affect North Carolina’s agricultural and food industries.

As a previous fellow with the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation, my work focused around building equitable food systems. Through my fellowship, I was able to more closely understand the codependent relationship between immigrants and the food on my table. Consuming North Carolina crops (that’ll be your cucumbers, tobacco, sweet potatoes, and strawberries, to name just a few) without thought to the hardships of the immigrants who harvested them is a privilege.

At this dinner, we discussed how we can best utilize that privilege as a means of protecting our state’s diverse human capital and preserving the dream of a prosperous, equitable local food system. Conversation always seemed to connect back to the idea that we live in a time of interconnectedness where we are called to advocate for not only our own beliefs, but also for those who are vulnerable to false perceptions and systemic inequities.

For some, the takeaways were a call to action to support local agriculture with the resources at their disposal. For others, it was an exercise in practicing tolerance and active listening in a time when policy can feel so personally divisive. Each of these is valuable and progress towards understanding that we are all human and connected by our shared humanity. 


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