By Rebecca Barnes | Presbyterian Hunger Program
The Presbyterian Church (USA)—through the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance as well as local congregations—has had a decades-long partnership with Growing Hope Globally, an organization that connects U.S. farmers, churches and communities to subsistence farmers around the world in order to help address hunger. The Presbyterian Hunger Program specifically has been working in partnership with Growing Hope Globally since 2002.
Growing Hope Globally, founded in 1999 as Foods Resource Bank, organizes around the concept that proceeds from crops raised and sold in the U.S. can help to fund agricultural development programs overseas. Presbyterians who are farmers, congregations who live in farming communities, and those who are connected to local farm markets can set aside a portion of profits in order to donate towards worthy programs that are making a difference around the world for farmers who live in tough places for farming and in communities where hunger still looms large.
Growing Hope gives us an opportunity to live out our faith and respond to global hunger through a unique Growing Project model. Growing Projects provide opportunities for farmers, churches, civic groups, and others in the U.S. to make a difference. A typical growing project involves farmers donating their time and use of equipment to grow a crop or raise animals while other members of the community provide land, seeds or feed and other inputs. The resulting crops or animals are then sold in the US and the proceeds are used to support agricultural development programs around the world, helping people living in hunger to help themselves and grow their own food.
While crop or animal growing projects are most common, there are also opportunities for urban communities to get involved through a farmers market Growing Project or in partnership with a rural congregation or a local Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter.
Since 2002, with Growing Hope Globally, the PC(USA) has been able to support development programs from our partners in Malawi, Madagascar, Congo, South Sudan and India with over 1.6 million U.S. dollars. And now, we are beginning a collaboration to support food security and self-sufficiency programs in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cameroon.
It is a blessing to learn from global partners about the work they can do, if given a chance, to address hunger in their communities. Together, U.S. and global community members come together to provide a little more food security in a hungry world!
To read more, check out Growing Hope. To get more directly connected, contact eric@GrowingHopeGlobally.org. Finally, learn about “Seed Banks and Self-Sufficiency: New Programs in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cameroon” at: https://vimeo.com/522881190.
The work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program is possible thanks to your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing.