The Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA’s (RAFI-USA) Come to the Table (CTTT) program is excited to announce funding available rural United Methodist churches throughout North Carolina through our CTTT Small Grants Program.
Come to the Table’s mission is to empower faith communities to participate in the creation of a just food system. In light of our mission, we are excited to offer up to six small grants to rural United Methodist Churches (UMC) to support mutually beneficial partnerships with farmers of color from RAFI-USA’s Farmers of Color Network.
The grants will support rural churches that are passionate about investing in self-sustaining, mutually-beneficial, long-term relationships with farmers of color. We believe that these partnerships will build congregational capacity and increase a faith community’s ability to partner with other community-based organizations and local farmers.
Inaugural 2023 grant recipients include two rural UMC congregations. Ware’s Chapel UMC, located in Washington, is partnering with Kelton Moore of Moore’s Family Farm, a third-generation small family farm in Blounts Creek, NC. The farm has been in service since the early 1900s, and today grows about 25 different types of vegetables with myriad varieties of each on family land.
McQueen Chapel UMC in Sanford is continuing their food ministry through partnership with Steve Moore and S&D Farm: “We have worked with S&D Farm (Steve) for over 3 years and hope to continue working with him after the three seasons,” noted congregational faith leader Veronica Watson “Our relationship is outstanding. Three churches work with our program; two churches provide additional land and growing space and volunteers.”
During this year-long grant cycle, each congregation will be paired with a local farmer of color in forming a food-based partnership for three growing seasons. Congregations will learn how to develop, coordinate, maintain, and grow a community-supported agriculture (CSA) project and receive technical support from RAFI-USA staff in creating a purchasing agreement between the church and farmer, coordinating delivery and payment logistics, crafting an outreach plan, and other foundational aspects of CSA administration.
If you are part of a rural United Methodist congregation and interested in partnering with local farmers, please contact Jarred White ([email protected] / 919.548.4730) for more information.