Farm & Faith Partnerships: Celebrating Successes and Growing Partners in the Sandhills

Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA’s (RAFI-USA) Come to the Table program (CTTT) is pleased to announce a new community partnership and the completion of a successful season. 

Farmers of color in the United States continue to endure systemic racism within the food system that causes significant and consistent social, economic, and political harm. Given the issues that farmers of color face — and RAFI-USA’s experience in working with churches, farmers markets, and farmers of color — RAFI-USA developed the Farm and Faith Partnerships Project (FFPP).

As part of FFPP, RAFI-USA staff has coordinated the completion of the first season of the Durham County community-supported agriculture (CSA) project and the start of a new CSA in Richmond County. For farmers, creating local partnerships through community-supported agriculture means a guaranteed source of income and market for their products.

Led by Kamal Bell of Sankofa Farms, the Durham County CSA project debuted this summer. The goal of Sankofa Farms is “to create a sustainable food source for minorities in both rural and urban areas located in Durham and Orange County, North Carolina.” Sankofa Farms is a multifaceted agricultural entity “that seeks to assist in changing the food intake habits of those living in and affected by food deserts.” In addition to produce, they also offer farm-fresh eggs, farm goods, and a summer agricultural program. 

This partnership is facilitated by four local congregations throughout the county, including Durham Presbyterian Church, Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, and Watts St. Baptist Church. The first season of this CSA ran for six weeks, with produce box deliveries running from mid-June through late July. Please stay tuned for more information for Fall 2022 sign-ups!

Additionally, the Sandhills AgInnovation Center (SAIC) is leading a new CSA project based in Richmond County and the surrounding county area starting in Fall 2022. The Sandhills AgInnovation Center is a project in the south-central Sandhills Region of North Carolina that supports farmers and expands the local farm economy. SAIC offers farmers and food businesses training; shared-use farm equipment; processing, aggregation, and storage facilities; and connections to new markets. 

This CSA will start the first week of September and will feature a variety of locally grown produce sourced from local farmers of color. If you or your faith community are interested in participating, please contact Davon Goodwin at [email protected]

If your congregation is interested in building relationships with farmers in your community and purchasing fresh, healthy food, visit farmtochurch.org or contact RAFI-USA program coordinator Jarred White at [email protected] for more information.

ANNOUNCEMENT: 2024 Beginning Farmer Stipends are Here! APPLY NOW!