Food Warriors Program

In the heart of Detroit, where asphalt meets earth, a revolution is growing – the Food Warriors Program. Born from the fertile grounds of Nsoroma Institute, this initiative is about more than planting seeds; it's about nurturing souls.

As a teacher at Nsoroma, Hanifa Adjuman witnessed firsthand the transformational power of teaching through the garden. Every class, every student at Nsoroma dug their hands into the soil, cultivating not just veggies, but a deep connection to the land and to each other. When the school closed its doors, the staff didn't lose hope. Instead, they sowed the seeds of change, birthing the Food Warriors Program as a beacon of community resilience.

The backs of children as they stand and listen to an adult outside in a garden space.

Since its inception in 2012, the Food Warriors program has served up to 100 youth annually with after-school, in-class, and Saturday programming. But this program of the Detroit Black Community Food Sovereignty Network is not just about planting and harvesting; it's about fostering a sense of belonging and respect. When a student spoke of how Food Warriors taught them "how to treat each other," it was a testament to the values of unity and compassion embedded in their work. "What he was referencing was the values of the Nguzo Saba or the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa,"  recalls Hanifa. "These principles are traditional African values that serve as a barometer by which we gauge the quality of our interpersonal relationships with one another, so when he said that, it was confirmation that the soil in which we are planting seeds is yielding excellent fruit!"

Even in the face of adversity, like the pandemic forcing Food Warriors to go virtual, their spirit remained unwavering. They adapted, finding new ways to engage families and keep the flame of learning alive by hosting virtual cooking demonstrations. And now, as they look to the future, their mission is clear: to ensure every child has the chance to dig their hands into the soil and reap the bountiful harvest of community and empowerment.

There are challenges ahead, like integrating the gardens into the school curriculum. But with dedication and determination, Food Warriors will overcome. They are not just growing vegetables; they are cultivating a future where every child can thrive, rooted in the values of love, respect, and resilience.

Children doing yoga outside.