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?
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 could look like a group of churches that strengthen their collective purchasing power by purchasing multiple CSA shares for their congregants from farmers of color. Or it could look like a church hosting a farmers market in their parking lot. Through these farm-to-church connections, churches are able to participate in a thriving local food system 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
Food, Faith, and Farmers of Color: A Guide For Community Collaboration – This guidebook 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.
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.
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, 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.
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 introduces and initiates relationships between a group of local churches and farmers in their area by creating a long-term purchasing agreement