The Food and Faith Network
“Noisy contemplation is for crabgrass Christians. Crabgrass grows anywhere. Its roots dig deep and bind the earth. It needs little care, is resistant to drought, wind, and sun. People can walk all over it and try to kill it. It will grow where there is even a crack in the sidewalk, but can burst forth in powerful growth when conditions are favorable.” -Bill Callahan, Quixote Center Co-founder
For 36 years the framework of liberation theology has inspired the Quixote Center to work on issues of economic inequality to challenge the systemic causes of poverty.
The Food and Faith Network is a newly-founded Quixote Center program that inspires grassroots (crabgrass!) action for social justice within the church. We believe that the struggle to be like Jesus in building a world more justly loving is worth the gift of our lives. We partner with people with or without faith who believe that we are called to the slow, patient work of building a better world within our local communities.
Our food system is like a manufacturing plant for sick people. And it isn’t doing much better for the environment, either. That’s why here in our nation’s capitol, in partnership with Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light, we’ve formed a grassroots group to connect churches with farmers to provide low-income folks with near-organic produce delivered straight to congregations in their communities. Folks with higher incomes will pay more, and those who have less will pay less. We empower congregations to carry out bi-weekly produce sales that underscore importance of fruits and vegetables for our bodies, our communities, and our planets. Interested? Email us!
Ever noticed that some churches can neglect the body in favor of the spirit? We believe healthy bodies and minds are essential for spiritual formation. So we do work to form strong communities around our eucharistic tables, in order to nurture a spirituality of justice. We are formed spiritually by healthy practices of community that begin in our kitchens, and include all the relationships to each other and the earth that come together around our dinner tables: family, friends, farm workers, and farms.
Want our help in starting up food justice classes at your church? We offer a 6-week class that can be tailored to your congregation. Email us!
The Food and Faith Network is walking alongside Unite Here on their Real Foods, Real Jobs campaign. School cafeteria workers want to cook real, fresh, sustainable foods: cooks with 30 years of experience don’t want to warm up frozen foods that have been trucked halfway across the United States and have their wages cut to boot. That’s why, as 5 Washington-DC-area universities are re-negotiating their contracts, we’re helping Unite Here’s with faith-based organizing and communications work.
It’s well and good to work locally for change, but we want people all across the world to be inspired by their faith to work locally for change. You might say, paradoxically perhaps, we’re working nationally for local change. That’s why we’re building an online community infrastructure around Fresh Stops that can enable farm-to-congregation food justice work. This summer and fall, we’ll be raising the money to fully build out this portal for Fresh Stops.
Program coordinator Jeremy John also participates in national dialogues concerning theological imperatives to confront inequality. Jeremy regularly contributes columns on faith and social action to Sojourners, Red Letter Christians, and The Huffington Post, the Good Men Project as well as reaching many through his own blog, glassdimly.com.