When the event ended, a few of us decided to keep the momentum going, including Editor-at-Large Paula Crossfield, who joined me to accept the award in New York City today. Thus sprang Civil Eats, which has produced thousands of stories by hundreds of contributors since 2009.
Our goal was simple: Create a platform to publish unreported stories from the voices on the frontlines of food politics; be inclusive and support the leading NGOs in the space and help them tell their stories; and stay ahead of and often break news. We did all that and much more for many years, without pay, and without being able to pay our contributors.
All of that changed when we launched our Kickstarter campaign last October. As our readers and supporters know, we successfully raised $100,000, the highest amount to date for content for an online daily news site via Kickstarter. With our new funds, we’ve since been able to bring on a new managing editor, Twilight Greenaway (who’s kicking ass) and have begun to pay our writers and contributors. Our goal is to be able to pay a full staff (including me!) and hire a Washington D.C.-based reporter to cover food policy on the ground.
The James Beard Foundation award for publication of the year proves that content-driven, in-depth dialogue on food systems issues matter. Civil Eats is a spark that ignited the food movement and this award is for everyone who believes that storytelling can transform the world. Thank you all for being such powerful advocates for critical thought and positive change in the food system.