Image courtesy of toledogrows.org
Toledo GROWs supports more than 125 community gardens by providing education, materials, volunteers, and tools to local community gardens, including faith-based community gardens. They also operate a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) available to local Toledo residents. In addition to the support they give to community gardens, they also offer workshops and programming to the larger Northwest Ohio community.
To learn more about Toledo GROWs click here.
An article written in 2015 by Tracy Turner for the College of Food Agricultural and Environmental studies covers a 2015 workshop led by OSU Extension, a part of the Ohio State University community, for faith leaders on creating community gardens. For those looking to grown the involvement of the community beyond their faith community, this article is an example of a local university connecting with faith communities around community gardens.
To read the article click here.
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The Ohio Fair Trade Network works to support fair trade products in Ohio retailers. They began working with the InterReligious Task Force on Central America to bring more fair trade resources to Ohio. They also partnered with Hiram College and John Carroll University to offer internships. They have continued to partner with faith groups as they work to establish a fair trade network in Ohio.
To learn more about Ohio Fair Trade 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.
Image courtesy of jhsph.edu
Started as an initiative of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. This organization connected with faith communities in attempts to improve food security and the food systems in the Maryland area. By connecting food to the ethics of faith, they offer many opportunities to reflect on one’s own earth stewardship.
To connect to the Baltimore Food and Faith Project including their resources from text studies, congregation toolkits, and gardening resources 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 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.