Any Food is Not Enough

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We were asked by Project Storefronts, Info New Haven and the CT Food Bank to create an installation at 756 Chapel Street to raise awareness for a food drive taking place during New Haven’s “Restaurant Week.” Citizens Bank was kind enough to make an initial donation of $1000. worth of food to kick the food drive off, so the idea was to use these donations in the display.

What Citizens Bank neglected to do was actually read the “nutrition facts” on the back of the label - or maybe they didn’t care. We don’t really know the answer to that so we won’t speculate one way or the other. The obscene press event that was part of this $1000. donation made one thing clear: Citizens Bank wanted as much credit as they could possibly get from this - so we made sure they did by putting their name on it. 

The point of our installation was not to demonize anyone, although all three parties who planned and executed this event (Project Storefronts, Info New Haven and CT Food Bank) could care less what was actually in the food donated - if you can call any of it food. It was all one giant press opportunity - getting to see what really happens behind the scenes in these types of situations has been an eye opener. No one even looked at the labels - all eyes were focused on the cameras.

Our goal was to draw a link, if most people don’t understand this already, between food and health. As is often the case, the people that need nutritious food the most (the poor) are typically given the lowest quality, least nutritious goods.

It’s not good enough to give anything - not all food is created equal. The food donated and used for this display is actually harmful (its one of those “facts”, look it up). We would personally never eat any of this junk, nor would we ever put our name on an installation that is tacitly endorsing it as “a suitable donation” and/or nourishing.

We’re supposedly an educated species, and when it comes to matters of food there is no excuse. You wanted an installation, you got one.

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Brand new to New Haven - Director of Arts, Culture and Tourism, Vivian Nabeta helping to unveil our installation. She loved the message.

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Look closely at the label - 1010mg of Sodium PER SERVING. Each can is considered 2.5 servings. Do the math - the soup is condensed, but all these cans are smaller than usual. One of the main ingredients in the Tomato Soup used in the display is that incredibly healthy stuff known as “high fructose corn syrup”.

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Hurry down to 756 Chapel Street and get a look for yourself. This installation may magically disappear, now that the “suits” actually know what it all means.