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Case study highlights El Departamento de la Comida’s work to reshape food systems


Through innovative, community-responsive, market-focused strategies, El Departamento de la Comida (El Depa) works to build food sovereignty, local resilience, and to improve nutrition and food access in Puerto Rico.

El Depa:

  • Connects communities with smallholder farmers to strengthen local food systems
  • Creatively supports farmers and communities after natural disasters by organizing work teams, providing tools and equipment for common use, as well as agricultural educational materials
  • Creates market-based options to sell food, or to donate food at risk of being wasted, including a restaurant and community supported agriculture (CSA) food delivery
  • Support aging small-scale farmers in advocating for food sovereignty and preserving culturally-relevant agricultural traditions
  • Works to counteract the flight of young people from Puerto Rico, and promotes agricultural and food system careers in multiple ways

The Equitable Food Oriented Development case study of El Depa highlights the assets of the people and the land in Puerto Rico. It speaks to the power of connection, of relationship and of adaptability. It names both what it is and what can be through localized food systems, led by and accountable to the people they serve.

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