Food System Work: How Your Voice Makes a Better Future

Part of the Carolina Creative Works staff blog series

Enoch Sarku holds an MSc. in Agribusiness Management from NC A&T State University and begins his PhD there in Data Science and Computational Mathematics this fall. He’s a Greensboro resident whose data & research skills support building a better food system for the future. He’s currently serving as an apprentice to the Piedmont Triad Regional Food System project and can be reached at community@carolinacreators.com. 

What’s one thing we wouldn’t know about you, Enoch? 

Hmmmmm I am multitalented – drumsticks, building robots, coding, singing in church, lobbying in congress, teaching math… Whoa what a list!

 

Why are you interested in working to improve the food system? 

I got involved in the food system because my college degree was in Agricultural Science. After graduating I worked with an agricultural radio station where I learnt how to advocate local governments and foreign agencies to make good agricultural policies. We won a grant in the process. I have also been involved in several NC food initiatives and projects including the North Carolina Growing Together project (NCGT). 

 

After working with many institutions on food, it became clear that the harm that food inequity does in the Triad is way uglier than meets the eye. In times of disaster, the sufferings of vulnerable people could move people to tears and is nothing to write home about. I truly wish for these things to change and that is the reason I keep being part of the change. 

 

What’s your favorite part of working on this project? 

The Triad fascinates me because every single initiative to support food or local farms receives such community participation that it amazes me all the time.

 

Bringing on my experience and expertise with agricultural and food data, I was excited to join Carolina Creative Works for the Piedmont Triad Food Assessment Program. The project has helped educate me on the true sorry state of equity and disparity in the Piedmont Triad region. 

 

However, the most important part of my experience is relating first hand with people who are trying to change that disparity. I believe everyone should get involved irrespective of their food access or needs situation – that leads to change, like when some people in our region started making changes without permission and were finally noticed by their local governments, and that opened the doorway to discussions and getting some level of change pushed. 

 

This project has a survey that everyone should seek to participate in as well. You may ask what benefit is in it for you. Simply think about the future that young people will have when it comes to food and how your voice can create that future. 

 

What do you want to do after this? 

 

I anticipate creating some solutions by the end of this project to help solve emerging issues through the power of technology. I am currently also working on building an agritourism platform that leverages the impacts of the closures from the epidemic to promote farmer profit and marketing.