February 19, 2013
More and more faith communities are interested in better aligning their food choices with their religious values. However, figuring out how to do that, amid the complexity of our modern food system, can seem overwhelming.
Not to worry. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and its Baltimore Food & Faith Project have devised two ways to help Baltimore-area congregations succeed on this journey of self-discovery.
First, Baltimore Food & Faith launched The Good Food Toolkit: A Food Sustainability and Justice Evaluation Guide for Faith Communities, which walks congregations through a process to help them improve their food policies and procedures in several different areas of congregational life. Now, to sweeten the process, Baltimore Food & Faith has announced the Good Food Challenge, a contest that will reward three congregations for using the Toolkit and coming up with the best plans for improving their food policies. The three top entries will win prizes of up to $3,000.
All congregations that successfully complete the Good Food Challenge will receive a 2013 Good Food Sanctuary certificate suitable for framing. Entering will also put your congregation in the running for one of three cash prizes ($3,000, $2,000 or $1,000 for first through third place) to put toward implementing the project(s) identified in your completed action plan.
While winning a cash prize is nice, the Toolkit process alone can bring myriad rewards. In fact, the Toolkit’s greatest benefit is that it’s a conversation starter that can lead a faith community in directions it had not imagined.
If you’re intrigued now and think you want to apply for the Challenge, here’s your next stop on this journey. The deadline to enter the contest is June 28, but now is the time for your faith community to start working with the Toolkit, which you can download here. You’ll also find how-to videos there to guide you through the process.
If you want some inspiration before you get started, read last fall’s Good Food Digest (Project Spotlight on page 2) to hear about the impact the Toolkit had on one Baltimore City congregation. Then, imagine that could be your faith community.