One-third of food system workers are food-insecure, and a majority of them earn low wages, according to the Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA). As a result, the FCWA set out to create a comic book about the everyday worker heroes in the food system.
Dubbed the "Food Chain Avengers", this comic book illustrates real-world issues and struggles facing workers in the food system. “The comic book is about five workers in our food system and their struggle to organize to change their workplace,” says Diana Robinson from the FCWA.
The Food Chain Avengers comic book uses examples drawn from real experiences by workers in their respective industries. The five main characters of the story walk us through each of five sectors of the food chain: production, processing, distribution, retail, and food service. The comic book exposes the exploitative nature of the industry Vis-à-vis its workers, communities, and the environment. In addition, it tells the story of struggle to victory.
Jerel Dye, social justice advocate, illustrated the comic. Dye said the comic is about characters that realize “the world doesn’t have to be the way that it is." Luis DeLeon, a restaurant worker and member of Restaurant Opportunites Center of Chicago, created the characters and wrote the backstory of the comic. DeLeon wrote the comic because he felt that “people should know what’s going on behind the kitchen door, behind the scenes.”
The FCWA is using the comic book as a way of discussing various issues within the food system. According to their mission, FCWA “works together to build a more sustainable food system that respects workers’ rights, based on the principles of social, environmental, and racial justice, in which everyone has access to healthy and affordable food.”
Recently, the FCWA wrote:
Our comic book tells the story of how we can come together and create a better world. [...] We see this comic book as a way of honoring our food worker heroes. We hope to inspire everyday people to become more involved in the food system and restore food workers with the respect and dignity they deserve [...] This is the story of every day heroes in the food system.
Are you interested in this comic? Food Chain Avengers is available in English and Spanish. Order a copy of Food Chain Avengers here.