May 9, 2020
Fighting hunger is at the heart of the Presbyterian understanding of mission. Jesus fed the hungry and told his disciples to do the same. Yet, we know that hunger is an extremely complex phenomenon with economic, political and social causes. The Presbyterian Hunger Program celebrates the vital work of local congregations and we complement it by doing “root cause” work to help address the underlying questions of why people are hungry in order to reduce ongoing hunger.
Supporting fair trade through the Presbyterian Coffee Project helps the local farmers that produce the coffee and has the added benefit of supporting life-sustaining activities made possible by the percentage of purchases that comes back to PHP.
As part of the Presbyterian Coffee Project, the Small Farmer Fund is one way that the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Equal Exchange and PC(USA) congregations work together to support small farmer projects in coffee-growing regions around the world.
For each pound of fairly traded coffee, chocolate, tea and fair foods that Presbyterians purchase through the Coffee Project, 15 cents per pound goes to the PC(USA)’s Small Farmer Fund. That translated to $9,475.68 in 2019.
In turn, PHP was able to help fund a program with the Civil Society for Poverty Eradication (CISCOPE) in Nigeria. The project supported 200 farmers’ households that will be purposively targeted in the Demsa Local Government Area (LGA) of Adamawa State. Each group of five will receive one water pumping machine for irrigation farming, 10 kilograms of rice seedling, and vegetable seedlings such as amaranth and okra.
These beneficiaries will be supported with training on best farming practices for the aforementioned crops. The activities will allow the beneficiaries to kick-start their livelihoods’ recovery process.
The theme of Fair Trade Day in 2020 is Planet Fair Trade, Enterprises for the New Economy. We see that inequality is rising, and we are all facing a climate crisis. These are the results of business models that put profit before the well-being of people and our planet. Learn more about Fair Trade Day at fairtradefederation.org/wftd.
Jessica Maudlin, Associate for Sustainable Living and Earth Care Concerns, Presbyterian Hunger Program
Today’s Focus: Fair Trade Day
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray:
God of justice, we ask that you transform the rules and practices of trade. We pray for those suffering because of unfair trade, for those developing new ways of trading and for those making choices about what they sell or buy. We remember your wisdom from Proverbs and confess our part in the disparity that exists so that in the fields of the poor even when abundant fruits ripen, injustice sweeps them away, leaving families to hunger. We ask, oh God, that you help us to share the fruits of your bounty so that all your family may benefit from your gracious gifts.