Come to the Table 2024 Small Grant Awardees

With support from the Duke Endowment, Come to the Table has provided small grants to empower rural United Methodist Churches to spearhead transformative food initiatives since 2020. Grantees leverage this funding within their communities to cultivate enduring partnerships with local farmers and community-based organizations.

In previous grant cycles, selected congregations have benefited from comprehensive training, technical assistance, and financial support covering various project-related expenses, including food purchasing and transportation costs, materials, stipends, and outreach efforts. After careful consideration, seven churches have been selected to receive support for planning, executing, and evaluating local food projects.

Meet the Congregations

Yadkinville United Methodist (Yadkinville, NC) operates NETworX, a program which obtains products from local farmers and their community garden to prepare meals. These meals are prepared in community with the families which NETworX serves. The meals are frozen to then be reheated on busy days, ensuring that families have access to quality, culturally appropriate, delicious meals any day of the week.

Star United Methodist Church (Star, NC) along with 13 different faith communities helps operate the only faith-based food pantry in Montgomery County. After the former mill town lost its main economic driver, the pantry has become the only option for some families. Star UMC will purchase locally sourced produce from farmers of color with which to stock the pantry.

Salem United Methodist Church (Bostic, NC) houses the Washburn Community Outreach Center (WCOC), a food pantry program which purchases from local farmers. With the Come to the Table small grant, Salem UMC will expand their offerings and increase the number of partnering farmers.

First United Methodist Church (Rutherfordton, NC) will partner with a local farmer collective to purchase produce for their choice pantry. Additionally, they will partner with local chefs for cooking tutorials as well as other faith communities in their area to expand their reach and capacity.

Moyock United Methodist Church (Moyock, NC) has operated a food pantry for ten years for twice a month. With the small grant, they will purchase a commercial refrigerator to have the capacity to serve their community weekly. They have been working with a local farmer, and will now be able to purchase and store more fresh food.

Oxford United Methodist Church (Oxford, NC) will continue in another season of their CSA with a local farmer. In addition to the congregation purchasing shares, shares will also be donated in partnership with the local housing authority.

First United Methodist Church Laurinburg (Laurinburg, NC) hosts a drive-through monthly food pantry, which provides families with fresh produce, frozen meats, canned boxed items, and other household needs. With the small grant, FUMC will partner with more farmers to expand their pantry’s offerings to eggs and dairy products.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the grant recipients and express our gratitude to all applicants who demonstrated a commitment to their food ministries.

For more information about this initiative or future opportunities, please contact us at [email protected].

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