Image courtesy of irtfcleveland.org
The InterReligious Task Force on Central America (IRTF) was founded in Cleveland in the 1980s after four US women were killed in El Salvador. They gather across religious denominations and traditions to work for peace and justice in Central America. They expose the negative realities of globalization including the ecological destruction that has occurred in Central America. They advocate for human rights and in sponsoring fair trade they also support environmental stewardship.
In May 2019, they held two Food Action Forums, one on alternative food systems and another on alternative trade organizations.
To learn more about IRTF click here.
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A group of anti-fracking activists were meeting in northeast Ohio. Faith leaders at that meeting thought it would be beneficial to approach the issue of fracking from the perspective of faith. They have grown to now include members from 45 faith communities primarily in Ohio but West Virginia is also represented. They welcome anyone to join their organization regardless of background or faith. They work to provide education and advocacy materials on energy conservation and renewable energy for faith communities in Ohio. They also hold regular statewide meetings. Their website includes a blog that is regularly updated.
To be connected with FaCT click here.
Image courtesy of johnshopkinshealthreview.com
The Baltimore Food and Faith Project works to unite faith communities around issues of food systems in the Maryland area. They work to improve the food crisis at a systematic level, but Jason Jordan-Griffin was personally affected by the work of Baltimore Food and Faith Project. He joined a program called “Food and Faith” when he felt that he was not treating his body as the temple God had given him. The program includes lessons from a nutritionist and faith based perspectives on eating well, not only for one’s self but for one’s community and the world. Jordan-Griffin found that this deeply affected his connection with the faith-based moral and ethical implications of eating. The article linked below tells his story and the benefits of uniting mindful eating with faith practices.
Click here to access the article or to learn more about the benefits of the Baltimore Food and Faith Project.
From 2008-2010, The Center for Closing the Health Gap in Greater Cincinnati partnered with several neighborhood churches and partners in the Avondale area, outside of Cincinnati to improve access to affordable foods. This led to an eventual partnership with the Food Trust to create lasting change.
To learn more about the project or to access the full program report click here.
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.