Training cohort from 2018. Image courtesy of mtso.edu
In May 2019 The Methodist Theological School in Ohio held a conference on sustainable food practices to fight poverty, hunger, and climate change. This conference was intended to support the education of faith leaders on current environmental issues led by Al Gore, Heber Brown III, and Aster Bekele.
To learn more about On Food and Faith click here.
Image courtesy of tucgarden.org
Started in 2010, The University Church (TUC) garden fights food insecurity in Toledo, Ohio by donating produce to local pantries and families. They hold events to educate on gardening practices, and they partner with Reynold’s elementary school and hold events to teach students about gardening and healthy eating. They also sponsor a Community Supported Agriculture group that runs from June to September.
To learn more about TUC Garden click here.
Image courtesy of arocha.org.
A Rocha is a Christian organization that supports conservation efforts. Originally established in Portugal, this group now has a presence in twenty countries. One of the resources that they offer is a guide for establishing a church garden, including information on how to deal with weeds and an appendix of forms outlining permission for land use or volunteer registration that communities may find helpful.
To access the PDF click here.
To learn more about A Rocha click here.
This group organizes Ohio’s compassionate efforts, including those organizations created by faith communities. You can search the interactive map by location or look for organizations under service sector, like environment or food and nutrition, to find groups to partner with or volunteer with.
To connect with the Ohio Compassion Map click here.
Image courtesy of ohiocompassionmap.org
Image courtesy of Ohiofoodbanks.org
Many faith communities in Ohio partner and support local foodbanks. The Ohio Association of Foodbanks supports these foodbanks through the Ohio Food Program and the Ohio Agricultural Clearance Program, which helps to provide foodbanks with Ohio-grown produce and vegetables.
You can learn more about the Ohio Association of Foodbanks locations and volunteer opportunities here.
Image courtesy of cool harvest.org
When faith communities begin their own gardening journey, it is helpful to refer to stories from communities who have done it before. Cool Harvest, an interfaith food and climate organization created by Interfaith Power and Light, gathered the best entries from the Cool Congregations Challenge for “Sacred Grounds Steward” submissions.
To connect to these success stories click here.
Image courtesy of jeremiahsletter.com
Since the 1970s, a group of churches in Dayton, Ohio have been inspired by the words of Jeremiah to 29:7, “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” They established Jeremiah’s Letter to support their community. They fight the injustice of poverty and hunger in their community through sustainable practices, including an emergency Food Pantry.
To connect to their website click here.
Image courtesy of goodnessgrows4all.org
Goodness Grows is an organization that provides opportunities for people of all abilities to connect through gardening. They are located in Common Ground Church Community and they are a licensed provider of daily programing for adults with disabilities through the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. The produce that is grown is then used for a Community Supported Agriculture Program.
To learn more about Goodness Grows click here.
Image courtesy of ohioproud.org
For those looking to simplify their eating and support more local growers, Ohio Proud is an organization connects consumers to Ohio grown products. Their website offers a page where you can search for the closest market to you via company name, zip code, or county. To connect with Ohio Proud’s Find a Farmer’s Market page click here.
Image courtesy of blackchurchfoodsecurity.net
The Black Church Food Security Network connects growers, especially Black farmers and urban growers, with historically African American congregations. Black churches have proven to be a strong-hold even in vulnerable communities, and the Black Church Food Security Network embraces the history and ability of the black church to make significant and lasting change in their communities. Their “Soil to Sanctuary” community markets work to provide and establish a cooperative partnership between growers and consumers. Currently they support the Mid-Atlantic region, but they are working to publish a guide to support those who want to start a garden at the local congregation level.
This organization was created by Rev. Dr. Heber M Brown.
To learn more about the Black Church Food Security Network click here.