Is your congregation interested in building relationships with farmers in your community and purchasing fresh, healthy food? Are you a farmer of color looking for new markets in your area and economic relationships?
The Farm and Faith Partnerships Project connects NC faith communities with farmers from RAFI-USA’s Farmers of Color Network to create sustainable food-based partnerships. These partnerships look different depending on the context but could look like a group of faith communities coming together to form a food box purchasing group to purchase from a local farmer or like a faith community hosting a farmers market in their parking lot (perhaps in coordination with another event like a community meal). Through these farm-to-faith community connections, faith communities are able to participate in the building of thriving local food systems and economies while also engaging in relational ministries with farmers in their communities.
The Farm and Faith Partnerships Project connects farmers of color with local congregations and communities through solutions that create:
- mutually beneficial relationships for farmers that maintain or grow their power
- sustainable relationships that have long-term financial and environmental viability, without relying on grants and loans
- practical relationships that involve a tangible benefit to each party involved, and are logistically efficient and convenient
Farmers Market and Faith Community Partnerships: A Guide for Market Managers – This guide is for farmers market managers, board members, and volunteers interested in fostering relationships between their market and local faith communities. Meaningful relationships between farmers markets and faith communities can connect farmers to new customers and to the community in general while increasing access to fresh healthy food and creating a closer connection to where that food comes from. This guide includes advice, resources, and tools for market managers who want to build such relationships. To check out other offerings, please visit our Resource Library.
Food, Faith, and Farmers of Color: A Guide For Community Collaboration – “Food, Faith, and Farmers of Color: A Guide for Community Collaboration” shares stories of partnerships between faith communities and farmers of color and provides resources for the creation of new relationships. We hope this guidebook will inspire your faith community to dream about what partnerships like these could look like and to put your faith into action in this way. To request a free PDF of the guidebook, please click here.
There are three goals of our Farm and Faith Partnerships Project:
- The first goal of our Farm and Faith Partnerships Project is to create new opportunities, markets, and long-term sustainable relationships that serve the economic, social, and political interests of farmers of color in North Carolina, especially women farmers of color, through building relationships with local congregations and faith communities.
- The second goal of our Farm and Faith Partnerships Project is to increase access to healthy, locally produced food, thereby improving food security for communities of color and low-income communities throughout North Carolina, by building a network of local congregations and faith communities and farmers of color through financially sustainable relationships.
- The third goal of our Farm and Faith Partnerships Project is to connect congregations and faith communities throughout North Carolina with theologically sensitive educational and practical resources in the food system.
Want to hear more about how we connect farmers and faith communities? Check out our Technical Assistance Spotlight!
Although there is flexibility in how faith communities and farmers can connect, the Farm and Faith Partnerships Project usually looks like…
- a congregation-based local CSA, where RAFI-USA staff help facilitate and maintain relationships between a group of local faith communities and farmers in their area through creating a long-term purchasing agreement
- a congregation-based farmers market cohort group, where RAFI-USA staff will support already established (or new!) farmers markets through faith community-based community support in advertising and logistics
- a congregation-based technical assistance project that involves RAFI-USA staff fielding incoming requests and ideas from local congregations regarding how they can engage in mutually beneficial, sustainable, and practical ways of partnering with local farmers of color. Each potential technical assistance idea or relationship will be taken on a case-by-case basis and is subject to resource and staff availability.
Interested? Fill out the faith community or farmer form below and we’ll contact you!