Posts Categorized: Food Justice

Off the Hook: A Maine Community Supported Fishery

How one Maine community puts Fisherman first! Most of us have heard of Community Supported Agriculture or CSAs, but in one coastal region in Maine, fishermen, congregations and Seacoast community members are taking things to a whole new level.  In late July, two women from the Southern coast of Maine, Amy Richards and Marcia Gibbons,… Read more »

Food Fighter Feature: Grow Real Food

Clarksville is a community that is large and spread out. The neighborhoods that have fewer markets also tend to be less affluent niehgborhoods. These citizens are faced with a decision to either buy processed foods at a high price, or spend time and money on transportation to reach a farmer’s market or supermarket. 

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Food Fighter Feature: Stepping up to the Challenge

Emily Rooney, garden coordinator at The Glory Hole, explains that nearly all of the food available in Juneau is either flown or shipped in, “Juneau is in a sensitive spot…if there was a transportation glitch for a week, we wouldn’t be able to feed ourselves.”

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This is the Jamm!

The strawberry season in Kentucky is only 2-3 weeks, so when the time comes, you have to get your hands on as many berries as possible. 

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Food Fighter Feature: Cutting Costs and Building People

When it comes to food and fairness, few populations are more consistently disregarded than our nation’s incarcerated individuals.  Sentenced to time away from friends and families, and kept indoors with little access to fresh air and community engagement can leave inmates even more broken and disjointed from society than ever before.

The cost of detention does not present itself solely through spiritual degradation for inmates; it also presents a very real financial cost to American taxpayers at roughly $129/day (estimate based on 2009 California State Prisons cost analysis).  This money goes to inmate healthcare, security, feeding, administration and rehabilitation.  One jailer in Woodford County Kentucky decided as part of his term to cut some of those costs and engage inmates in taking ownership for their food and their well-being.

This week’s Food Fighter, Jailer Johnny Jones

Read more. . .

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Food Fighter Feature: Goodness Grows

Youth take the lead on promoting Food Justice in Georgia The Heritage Presbyterian Church in Acworth, Georgia proudly boasts the motto that: “Love Grows Here”.  Well, love isn’t the only thing growing at Heritage Presbyterian. Community is creeping up the trellises and leaders both young and old are being born everyday.  I spoke with one such… Read more »

Greetings from a VISTA!

Connecting Food Fighters, one story at a time… Since I took an interest in the Food Justice movement, I’ve worked hard to start and contribute to conversations unveiling the downsides of industrialized food systems and the importance of taking an active role in the fight to reclaim and re-localize the control we have over the food… Read more »

VISTAs Help Bring Justice to the Food System

 

laura-stricklen photoJonathan photo
                Laura Stricklen                                      Jonathan Krigger               

 

rachel photoAri photo

                    Rachel Brunner                                        Arianna King

National Anti-Hunger and Empowerment

Corps Year Two Takes Off


AmeriCorps VISTA Team to Work in around the U.S. including Louisville

Four full-time national service participants, Arianna King, Jonathan Krigger, Laura Stricklen, and Rachel Brunner started work this week for the Presbyterian Hunger Program (PCUSA) as part of a nationwide program to fight hunger, the National Anti-Hunger and Empowerment Corps.

Their service began on February 13 after top federal and local officials joined with nonprofit groups in Boston to swear-in the 31 members of the new national team, an AmeriCorps VISTA project which will help nonprofit organizations in 18 states, at nearly 30 sites, fight hunger, increase the amount of healthy, locally-grown food, and help to empower more low-income individuals and families to achieve long-term financial security.

For the next eleven months, Brunner, King, Krigger and Stricklen will assist congregations and organizations in Louisville and around the country more effectively connect low-income individuals and communities to government nutrition programs, such as SNAP and WIC, and to healthy, locally sourced foods.

The program is being led by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH) and is funded by the USDA and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) with additional support from non-governmental sources. This unique public-private partnership is aimed at reducing the hunger and food insecurity faced by 50 million Americans.

“In this nation of plenty, it is unacceptable that millions of children still go to bed not knowing if there will be food for their next meal,” said Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds AmeriCorps and a senior member of the subcommittee that funds the USDA.  “The Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps is a win-win – it will play an important role in the fight against hunger, while helping young people build leadership skills and pay off school debt.”

“Increasing access to nutrition assistance for our most vulnerable populations is a top priority of the Obama Administration,” said USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Concannon.  “We are committed to working with our partners at the federal, state and local level, as together we help millions of families in need.”

“For more than 46 years, VISTA has been in communities working to improve the lives of millions of the most vulnerable Americans,” said Paul Davis, Acting Director of AmeriCorps VISTA. “This cross-agency collaboration with USDA will prove instrumental in helping individuals and families get on the path to economic stability and build stronger communities.”

“We are excited to host Arianna, Jonathan, Laura and Rachel, who will be working with congregations and communities to strengthen their witness of Christ in the world,” says Presbyterian Hunger Program staffer, Andrew Kang Bartlett. “Over decades, the Presbyterian Church USA has carried out ministries of compassion, helping to alleviate hunger, as well as ministries of justice to help Presbyterians understand and address the root causes of hunger. The VISTA workers extend the work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program to help build the capacity of local churches and groups to create healthy, just food systems in the U.S.”

“The AmeriCorps VISTA program is a perfect tool to fight hunger and improve nutrition,” said NYCCAH’s Joel Berg.  “We are grateful that this new public-private partnership will cost-effectively aid the ability of grassroots nonprofit groups in 18 states to increase their capacity to enable eligible families to access the federal nutrition assistance benefits that they need to avoid hunger and improve their diets.  We are extraordinarily grateful to the Obama Administration and to local officials around the country for this tremendous federal and local support.”

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov. AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) taps the skills, talents, and passion of more than 7,000 Americans annually to support community efforts to overcome poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA members are assigned full-time for one year at nonprofit community organizations with the goal of building the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of programs that provide low-income Americans with the skills and resources needed to break the cycle of poverty.

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PCUSA congregation plans for World Food Day

food for life with grain flying

Ashley Goff, the associate pastor at the PCUSA Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, D.C. sent us their plans for World Food Day (October 16) and the Food Week of Action.

Here is how she explained it ~~

“We are honoring the Food Week of Action starting October 9th and wanted to share our current plan. At Church of the Pilgrims, we are honoring Food Week in this way:
During our education hour prior to worship, we are having one of our members, Erin LittleStar who is active in sustainable food practices and local food/faith advocacy lead us in an hour of learning more about the food cycle and systems. This is an intergenerational event.

At the end of the hour, we are going to invite people to make 4 choices to honor the week in a practical way:

  1. Compost for a week: We have two standing composts at Pilgrims along with worm composting. People will be invited to compost for a week and bring the compost to church the following Sunday.

  2. SNAP Challenge: One of our members works for the Dept of Agriculture, specifically around SNAP, and recently did a SNAP Challenge with her colleagues. The challenge is to eat for a week on your amount you would receive for food stamps. (See how it works below)

  3. Local Food: Eat one meal a day with locally grown food.

  4. Intentional Prayer: Set an intention before each meal, snack, drink for the week. Setting an intention and honoring where the food has come from and naming if the food with be healthy or destructive to your body (and in turn to the planet).

Each session will be led by a church member who has been doing this practice and can explain the nitty-gritty.

After church, we are having a beekeeping 101 session and a farmer’s market group shopping experience. We have 5 beehives at Pilgrims which pollinate our urban garden (plus areas around us) and our beekeeper is coming to give us more information on our hives, feed the bees, etc.

Erin will be taking another group to our local farmers market to meet some farmer’s, shop for the SNAP challenge and have hands on learning around local food, seeing food as more than fuel but a faith experience.

Worship will be part of Food Week in some way. Yet to be determined!”

You can find all the resources you need for World Food Day and the Food Week of Action on the PCUSA’s Food and Faith website.


 Take the SNAP Challenge:

STEP 1 – Eat on $4/day for a week, a month or longer if you so choose. 

STEP 2 – Experience hunger for yourself and the difficulties faced by hungry people everywhere.

STEP 3 – Engage others by sharing your experience. We encourage you to keep a journal, post to our Facebook page, email us your story or simply share your feelings with with friends, family and coworkers.


And you? Consider getting your congregation to do something for Sunday, World Food Day ~ October 16. How about organizing a group meal? Just email us at php@pcusa.org and we will send you free placemats. No cost. Table discussion questions and other downloadable resources can be found here.

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