In the winter, our thoughts often turn to gardens . . . maybe even a church garden. Food Sovereignty for All: Overhauling the Food System with Faith-Based Initiatives is a manual for starting and maintaining community gardens, kitchens and other programs.
Faith-based organizations from many traditions have long been committed to helping less fortunate members of the community through contributions to charity, community ministries, volunteer projects at home and abroad, and working toward social justice through advocacy and community organizing. Recently, care for creation has become a motivation for involvement in food systems and local food.
In the United States today, millions of Americans are facing new or continuing economic struggles as health care, food and energy costs rise, while work hours are reduced, jobs eliminated or wages frozen. At the same time, one of the leading health concerns is the epidemic of obesity seen in both adults and children. Because of these concerns, many communities are seeing a revitalized interest in community gardens, farmers’ markets, and local, fresh and healthful foods.
There is no better time for congregations to support local farmers, increase access to healthy food and reduce our dependence on foods produced thousands of miles away—in a world with limited energy resources. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to become involved. Nevertheless, setting up a faith-based project requires careful planning, organization, community education, and the commitment and hard work of many members. You may find that working in collaboration with other faith-based groups in your area is more sustainable and has the added benefit of strengthening relationships across communities, while creating opportunities to learn about other faith traditions.