The Global Solidarity Alliance for Food, Health and Social Justice (GSA RightsNotCharity) began to emerge in 2018 out of relationships built at Trans-Atlantic conferences and meetings, resulting in a growing shared analysis of and reaction to the increased use of private philanthropy and transnational corporate food banking as a response to “rich world” hunger and poverty. Much of this analysis has a long-standing history; but the lasting effects of the 2008 global recession, the COVID-19 pandemic, together with the acceleration and expansion of food banking across the world, has led to our renewed focus in organizing around these issues.
While the structural issues that this alliance addresses are global, the proliferation of institutionalized corporate food banking, private philanthropy, food banks, and other “emergency measures” as permanent responses to poverty and food insecurity originated in the United States, before spreading to Canada and, since the mid 1980s, have steadily advanced across Europe and other parts of the globe. These solutions have never addressed the root causes of food insecurity, and oftentimes exacerbate poverty. They have allowed governments to look the other way, ignoring income policies and human rights, all the while creating greater openings for the corporate capture of public policy and funding.
The Global Solidarity Alliance’s focus on “wealthy-but-unequal” countries is a means to build a shared understanding among those in North America and Europe of the patterns of destructive policies which have taken hold in North America and are being replicated in European Countries, and beyond. In so doing, this #RightsNotCharity alliance will be better prepared to accompany our global allies who have long felt the perverse effects of resource extraction and colonialism by our governments and to open collective pathways to authentically struggle for food sovereignty as a right of all people everywhere. We invite you to join our growing global network in shifting from charity to solidarity with those whose rights have been systematically denied.
Our Mission as an Alliance
Build a shared analysis of the increasing use of charitable food aid, private philanthropy, and transnational corporate food banking as a flawed response to hunger and poverty.
Build collective strategies of resistance and alternative models and practices to promote the fulfillment of the right to nutritious food in our respective parts of the world.
Build global solidarity with and accompany our global allies who have long felt the perverse effects of resource extraction and colonialism, upheld through racism and white supremacy, by our governments thereby opening collective pathways to authentic struggle for food sovereignty as a right of all people everywhere.
“Covid-19 is the crisis-within-a-crisis that highlights and exacerbates the contradictions of a profit-prioritising food system that produces both waste and hunger. We have seen millions of animals slaughtered due to loss of market value and highly concentrated slaughtering facilities at a time of overwhelming demand for emergency food, an eerie
“The Global Solidarity Alliance is creating the space to unwind common understandings related to food insecurity. The goal is to change the narrative-moving away from charity as the solution to hunger to understanding the root causes of hunger and shifting policy, practice, and investments towards building a more equitable and
“Widespread hunger and food insecurity in today’s rich world are markers of the moral vacuum at the centre of forty years of neoliberalism. As governments have neglected their human rights obligations under international law, charitable food banking fed by Big Food and corporate philanthropy in the USA, Canada and the
“Long lines at food banks have become an icon of the Covid-19 pandemic, side by side with pictures of milk dumped on the fields and vegetables plowed under. People are rightly outraged by the massive waste amid distressing need, but the answer is not for our societies to become even
“Food charities should not have to carry the burdens of reconciling glaring contradictions between food waste and hunger. Over the past 40 years, states, private businesses and philanthropists have invested billions of dollars into a food banking infrastructure to resolve the inefficiencies of an economic model that produces want amidst
“The work of the Global Solidarity Alliance is crucial in these unprecedented times where inequalities are exposed, revealing deep structural violence against the impoverished, disabled, children, Black and other racially minoritized and marginalized people. With millions more thrust into poverty and unable to afford food the charitable food model proliferates
“The Global Solidarity Alliance is offering a unique space for building a shared analysis and coordinated action among those advocating for the right to nutritious food amidst the growing entrenchment, legitimization and spreading of private charity as an acceptable response to hunger in countries of high wealth. As we weave
“The right to food exists in Canada and has since 1976. It does not mean that the government is required to give out free food. Rather, the government is obliged to create the conditions for people to be able to access good, nutritious, affordable food with dignity, now and in
“For the past decade in the UK, emergency food provision has grown, and is becoming an ever more normalized ‘response’ to poverty and insecurity, as we’ve seen in a North American context over a longer time period. Now more than ever, emergency food is playing a key role in responding