Christ Episcopal Church || 205 N. Seventh St. || Stroudsburg, PA 18360 || Office Tel: (570) 421-7481

In honor of Black History Month, I want to begin talking about food self-sufficiency rather than food charity. It is a given that within our church community, we must rely on delivering food by distributing donations and actively seeking donations.

Christ Episcopal Church has no land. We barely have enough indoor space for all the activities that go on at our church.

But by looking at, studying how various Black organizations, both associated with churches or part of a social justice movement, use land and their partners to instill food self-sufficiency within their communities, we can find new ways to make sure that we do feed the poor but by helping them to learn to feed themselves.

This is a broad topic. On the one hand, there is the Episcopal Agrarian Ministry that works with Episcopal churches all over the country to help them make use of their land to grow food. This is a good example of how our church talks about farming.

On the other hand, there is the Black Church Food Security Network. This organization is dedicated to ending what they call “food charity,” and help churches, farmers, local organizations to become self-sufficient and stop describing themselves as living in food deserts. Rather, they demonstrate the ways industrialized food has oppressed communities of color and made them sick.

These two organizations (The Episcopal Agrarian Ministry and The Black Church Food Security Network) offer us excellent opportunities to think about how we as a church with a growing and necessary food ministry may be able to re-think and discover new ways of ensuring everyone eats healthy food and is an active participant in this process.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog.

Deborah Emin