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The Come to the Table Program

At RAFI-USA, we envision a future in which people work in partnership to build strong, self-reliant communities where everyone can eat healthy, just, and sustainable food. RAFI-USA brings this vision to life through Come to the Table. Come to the Table’s objective is to relieve hunger and strengthen just, sustainable agriculture in rural North Carolina. We engage and mobilize people of faith, farmers, and communities to increase food security, address poverty, and strengthen justice in our food system.

How We Work:

While our work aims to relieve hunger, we work in indirect ways, by providing information and resources, making community connections with farmers and sustainable agriculture, and building capacity to strengthen and expand faith‐based hunger relief and food access efforts.

I. Mobilizing & Connecting Communities

RAFI-USA’s Come to the Table program is best known for hosting conferences, gatherings, and community conversations that bring together faith leaders and laypeople, hunger relief advocates, farmers, farm workers, school nutrition directors, and others to find mutually beneficial solutions to food insecurity. We engage churches and community based organizations to deepen their level of engagement and help move them towards strategies and systemic solutions that address the root causes of hunger and poverty using an equity lens.

II. Technical Assistance and Capacity Building

We provide technical assistance (TA) to farmers markets, churches, and faith and community groups starting or expanding food and hunger initiatives. Learn more about the goals and process for our TA, types of projects we can support, and TA topics we can provide, refer or support in this Overview of Come to the Table’s Technical Assistance (TA) Practice. For more information or to request TA, contact Jarred White: [email protected]

III. Research & Publications

We produce and promote publications in collaboration with partners and program constituents.

IV. The Come to the Table Fellowship for Rural Faith Leaders

The Fellowship program is designed to equip faith and community leaders who are engaged in food access work to use their passion and influence to positively impact the landscape of work at the intersection of food, faith, and justice in North Carolina. The program supports and invests in faith leaders who are passionate about equity and food access and who are engaged in projects that support these goals.

V. The Food, Faith, and Justice Fellowship

The Come to the Table program is partnering with Resourceful Communities to provide an in-depth experiential learning opportunity for students at Duke Divinity School through our Food, Faith, and Justice Fellowship. This fellowship is designed to complement Certificate coursework through on-the-ground engagement with local organizations working to address food and environmental justice issues through the lenses of equity, faith, and sustainability.

Interested in learning more about Come to the Table? Contact us or click below for more information.

Recent Events

Equity at the Table Speaker Series

Our Equity at the Table Speaker Series was designed for people who are working in the intersection of equity and food security and for those with the desire to think more critically about equity in their work and volunteerism. The series featured varied perspectives on diversity, equity and inclusion, while educating the community about food security issues. RAFI-USA hosted the Equity at the Table Speaker Series in locations across North Carolina from March through August 2018. Click here to learn more about the Equity at the Table Speaker Series.

Interested in learning more about Come to the Table? Contact us or click below for more information.

We hosted faith leaders and laypeople, hunger relief advocates, farmers, farm workers, community organizers, community gardeners, food council members, extension agents and others March 12-13, 2019 for the 2019 Come to the Table Conference in Charlotte, NC to examine the root causes of hunger and collaborate to build a more just food system. Click here to learn more about the 2019 Conference.

What People are Saying

“These conferences speak to the heart, mind and hands of people of faith, challenging us to rethink our often insulated lives. If you want to be inspired and equipped to be part of the front-row connection between faith and food, this is for you!” – Susan Sides, The Lord’s Acre

“Come to the Table never fails to inspire. At every conference I’ve met new people doing great work,and their creative examples show what’s possible when faith communities get involved.” – Chris Liu-Beers

“I found myself participating in a deep level of humanity. I greatly appreciated seeing that modeled & then given [an opportunity] to participate.” – 2017 conference attendee

“The fact that a room full of different people with different backgrounds can discuss something as heavy as race with kindness and grace is something I haven’t seen in a while! Thank you!” – 2017 conference attendee

“Felt like a family reunion.” – 2017 conference attendee

Supported by:

RAFI-USA staff are currently working remotely. As we plan for how COVID-19 will change both how we do our work, and what work needs to be done, please know that we are still here. Our Farmer Hotline (866-586-6746) will operate from Monday-Saturday from 9am to 6pm. Stay tuned for more updates and information.
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