“Dismantling the structures and sites that create unequal access to food:”
Paul Taylor and Elaine Power in conversation about food justice
Keywords:food justice, food insecurity, BIPOC, community food programs
In the summer of 2019, Elaine Power, Professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Studies at Queen’s University, interviewed Paul Taylor for a research project on community food programs. Paul, a Black man, is the Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto and an anti-poverty activist. In 2020, Paul was named one of Toronto Life’s 50 Most Influential Torontonians, was awarded the Top 40 under 40 in Canada, and voted Best Activist by the readers of Now Magazine.
In this interview, Paul explains his philosophy of leadership, his understanding of food justice, and the ways that non-profit organizations can contribute more meaningfully to food justice. Paul understands food insecurity as a lack of income, an issue disproportionately affecting Black, Indigenous and people of colour. Therefore, the best solution to food insecurity is a decent-paying job. Non-profits concerned about food justice must pay living wages, and close the gap between the highest and lowest paid employees. They must also listen to their clients and take their advice. Paul also explains how his background growing up poor and hungry in Toronto was his best education for his current position at FoodShare Toronto.
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