The Food Policy Council team has made strides in community base-building and aligning youth with the food sovereignty movement. 

This year we have expanded our team to include: 

  1. Friendly Vang-Johnson who is a daughter of farmers and runs Friendly Hmong Farms as a distribution access point for farmers and a hub for community organizing. 
  2. Mawahib Ismail who is a rising filmmaker, recent UW grad, and former Vice President of Black Student Union. Mawahib serves as RBAC’s Food Policy Council Fellow!
  3. Omar Kabba is a current student at Rainier Beach High School and Seattle Central Community College. He is one of our Farm Fellows that support farmers and youth capacity within the Food Policy Council. 
  4. M’Bouilee Sidibe is also a Rainier Beach High School student and Farm Fellow. She is an athlete and ASB and BSU leader at her school and supports youth capacity within FPC.

We have also partnered with the Black Farmers Collective to solicit paid farmer talk stories from those in our growing community. This is an effort to hear the stories of our local farmers, while decolonizing the notions around informational interviews which have been historically extractive to our communities. We make sure to help our farmers with any farm tasks at hand, bring food, and pay them $250 for their time with us. We have surpassed 270 hours of farmer support thanks to Cly Samson who is our Farmer Support lead who coordinates us to different sites and maintains our relationship to farmers and the land.

Through our connections with Friendly and her farmer advocacy work in Minneapolis, The FPC team had the privilege of attending the Emerging Farmers Conference in Mounds View, Minnesota. We met with the Midwest Farmers of Color Collective as well as Project Sweetie Pie, both organizations and their leaders have spent decades in this work and shared their wisdom with us young people. We were able to see how this work is shared and differs across states, and it has informed our future for 2024 with the Food Policy Council and beyond. 

We were also able to support sending our farmers Beatrice, Cly, and Hannah to the Reclaiming Alignment Retreat held by Song of the Spirit Institute and Ayeko Farms in Enumclaw, WA. This decision was rooted in our knowledge and advocacy of farmer needs especially as it runs deeper than technical business assistance. More importantly, their needs are physical, emotional, spiritual, and communal rest. This has also budded into further co-creation of Food Policy Council vision with Song of the Spirit and Ayeko Farms for the upcoming year and how we all share investment in healing and supporting those who take care of the land. 

This month we held a FPC Strategy Session with Deepa Iyer from Ayeko Farms and updated our priorities: 

  1. “Engaging YATTAs (Young Adults Transitioning To Adulthood) in food systems through community care for farmers” – Deepa Iyer & Gregory Davis
  2. Local Systems & Economy: Operations, Value-Chain, Distribution, Cooperation
  3. Community education of food justice, policy & advocacy, and farmer talk stories

2024 will be an exciting year for the Food Policy Council as we look to continue deepening relationships with local farmers, engage with other youth-led food justice initiatives in the community, convene local produce purchasers to build economic power, carve out time for more wellness retreats, and more!


2023 was a year of many firsts for the food justice team at RBAC! The launch of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program in July increased access to locally grown, culturally relevant produce for members of South Seattle. This was also the year that we purchased our food hub van, which reduced significant barriers as well! This van has been used to transport produce from our farmers to the RBAC office, and to deliver CSA boxes right to the doorsteps of our customers. We distributed boxes for 15 consecutive weeks on Friday mornings (with folx also having the option to pick up their boxes at RBAC), along with offering 2 late-season harvest boxes containing gleaned produce. Some weeks we had up to 17 deliveries and 10 pick-ups!

The farm stand program also had many wins! We hosted 3 big events: a hiring fair in March, our Harvest Fest in October, and the annual holiday baking event in December. During the farm stand season, we introduced new varieties of produce that hadn’t been offered in previous years such as daikon and dragon tongue beans. While strengthening our already existing partnerships, we also worked with multiple new BIPOC farmers—many of them coming from Horseneck Farm in Kent, WA. To meet our growing demand, we had 27 volunteers in total who came out to help on our busy Saturday mornings! We operated for 18 weeks total, meaning 18 weeks straight of supplying Rainier Beach residents with free groceries! We are so grateful for everyone who supported us in 2023 and can’t wait to see what more we accomplish in the upcoming year.


The Garden Gremlins visited 6 farms this year. We visited Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands, Horseneck, Black Star Farmers, Aash Farms, Small Axe Farm, and Ayeko Farm. We hosted two community events. A pizza and movie night in March and a Garden Party in July. 

We installed an irrigation system this year. We grew tomatoes, cilantro, flowers, fava beans, garlic, lettuce, sugar snap peas,and herbs in the RBAC Garden.  

Garden Gremlins also cooked together. We made sambusas, south end tomato soup, smoothies,fried zucchini and kebabs. We made Tom Yum noodle soup with vegetables from the farm stand. We also compared canned pumpkin pie to pumpkin pie made with a pumpkin from Ayeko Farm.  We went blackberry picking and taste tested hot sauces. 

The Gremlins were also able to support the Food Policy Council and represented at Farm Fest distributing free produce. We also created a  Food Justice Zine.