“My time at Union helped me challenge systems and think about what justice means,” she said. “It made me ask hard questions about food security and what poverty is in America.”
Cari graduated from Union in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. She was heavily involved in starting ComeUnity Café, a café in downtown Jackson that focuses on helping people and fostering community by providing healthy food options and a place to gather.
Cari said the idea of food justice prompted her to work with the café as community garden manager.
“Healthy, sustainably produced food should be available to everyone, not just the rich,” Cari said.
She said she began diving into the idea of food justice during her junior year at Union. She went to the famers market and bought a tomato plant to grow.
“That one tomato plant turned into, hopefully, a lifetime of farming,” Cari said.
When she first started thinking about food justice, Cari said she thought of places like Africa. She did not realize that there were needs far closer to home.
“At first, I only saw this on a global scale. I thought I had to go to Africa to find those needs,” she said. “But in my four years in college, mostly through working with ministries at Union, I saw that there is a great need here in Jackson.”
In her new position at Grubb’s Grocery, Cari said she is learning more about the marketing side of growing food. She said she hopes to continue providing ways for people with lower income to eat healthy, sustainable food.
Story by Nathan Handley, Photos by Kristi Woody