Reducing Food Waste and Setting the Table for All

Christine Grillo

Christine Grillo

Contributing Writer

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Guests enjoying a meal at the Franciscan Center.

Guests enjoying a meal at the Franciscan Center.

In December 2013, Pope Francis brought attention to what he called “a global scandal”—the 1 billion people in the world who are hungry. Earlier this year he launched an anti-hunger campaign, saying “The planet has enough food for all, but it seems that there is a lack of willingness to share it with everyone. We ought to set the table for all.”

Every year the soup kitchen at the Franciscan Center of Baltimore serves 100,000 meals and donates 8,000 bags of groceries to the hungry. Most of the food the Center serves is “recycled” or “repurposed,” meaning that it’s been recovered from catering companies, supermarkets, cafeterias, and farms before it has to be thrown away. The food is perfectly safe, but Read More >

Food Chain$ Screening Brings Farmworker Injustices to Light

Raychel Santo

Raychel Santo

Sr. Research Program Coordinator

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Screening of Food Chain$ at Red Emma's, Baltimore.

Screening of Food Chain$ at Red Emma’s, Baltimore.

“Anyone can give charity but to give justice to someone who demands it is harder to do.” —quotation from the film Food Chain$

On Thursday, February 12, more than 125 people came out to Red Emma’s Bookstore and Café for a screening and discussion of the new documentary film Food Chain$. The event, co-sponsored by The Baltimore Food & Faith Project and The Marc Steiner Show, revealed how the historical injustices of farm labor persist even today in our food supply chain, and how large produce buyers like fast food and supermarkets are complicit Read More >

A Trip to White Rose Farm: Natural Partners

Darriel Harris

Darriel Harris

Program Officer, Baltimore Food and Faith Project

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

A day of harvesting and cooking at White Rose Farm, Md.

A day of harvesting and cooking at White Rose Farm, Md.

Trying to promote substantive change in the growing and eating of food is a challenge to anyone. Without partners, even the most gifted, eco-friendly farmer grows the finest of foods using the finest of methods only to see the food rot because there is no one to help move and consume it. Likewise, the Baltimore Food and Faith Project (BFFP) needs partners to help us fulfill our mission and to walk alongside us exploring new ideas, holding discussions, and trying new initiatives.

In the summer of 2014, Sally Voris of White Rose Farm in Taneytown, Maryland, Read More >

Celebrating Faith Community Gardens

Sharon Varghese

Sharon Varghese

Research Assistant, Baltimore Food and Faith

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

faith-garden1“We have our kids line up at the hose, cup water in their hands, and run back to the plants to sprinkle it on them,” said one congregant. Another talked about the gardens they grow in discarded tires. Still another shared the different methods her church has tried to keep their gardens free from pests, and the different fruits and vegetables they grew over different seasons.

All of these narratives and more were told at Epiphany Episcopal Church during the Baltimore Food and Faith Project (BFFP) 5th Annual Faith Community Garden Celebration dinner. In the past year, Read More >

Food Policy Leadership in Maryland

Darriel Harris

Darriel Harris

Program Officer, Baltimore Food and Faith Project

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

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Chesapeake Food Policy Institute, Oct. 2014 / CLF

The participants’ passion energized the conference. Some talked about their work with mayors and city councils, while others described their frustrations finding inroads into certain groups. Participants spent time together over meals, team exercises, and free moments, and shared their success, struggles, and ambitions with one another. They generated ideas together, and some agreed to work together on future projects. Most expressed that the most valuable part of the Institute was being together to learn from one another.

On October 5-8, the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future hosted the Chesapeake Food Policy Leadership Institute for food policy groups from the Chesapeake region. The conference took place at the Pearlstone Conference Center in Reisterstown, Maryland. The goal of the Institute was to build a network of food policy leaders who can increase their efficacy in leading food policy groups and improve their understanding of food policy actions. Read More >

Making Better Faith-Based Food Choices

Sharon Varghese

Sharon Varghese

Research Assistant, Baltimore Food and Faith

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

A Daniel fast is typically a vegan diet.

A Daniel fast incorporates a vegan diet.

Recently, Kim Ease had it in her heart to start a periodic Bible fellowship in a home environment. Attenders of her Bible fellowship, “Bring Your Bible to Brunch” (BYBTB), were preparing to begin a fast based on the biblical character Daniel. The Daniel fast incorporates a vegan diet with water as the only beverage. To prepare, they had been reading the book of Proverbs and applying its lessons to everyday life.

We were invited to BYBTB on Saturday, September 20, to have fellowship, enjoy homemade Trinidadian food, and lead a discussion from the book of Proverbs on making wise food choices. Read More >

Donating Well

Imani Williams

Imani Williams

Project Intern

Baltimore Food and Faith, CLF

Good Food Gathering, June 2014

Good Food Gathering, June 2014

While 22.9% of Baltimore City’s population is food insecure, excess crops can be found rotting on farms throughout Baltimore County. The need is clearly demonstrated, and so is the waste, but there are plenty of people and groups trying to help. Some of these people met at the Franciscan Center on June 12 to discuss how to supply nutritious foods to those in need.

This Good Food Gathering was the third in a series of four conducted by the Baltimore Food and Faith Project. The first two meetings Read More >

Religion, Making a Difference, and Food

Darriel Harris

Darriel Harris

Program Officer, Baltimore Food and Faith Project

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

“If I believed that God loves all Creation and desires that all Creation flourish free from oppression, then my faith required me to change my eating habits.” —Pastor Christopher Carter, First UMC, Compton, Calif.

jewish gardenPlaces of religion have always been places that offer something different from societal norms—morals, ethics, and hospitalities that may be distinct from whatever seems “normal.”  Some religious institutions have readily embraced their distinctions.  In Nazi Germany, for example, Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer of the Confessing Church actively resisted the Nazi regime, while Rabbi Abraham Heschel joined arms with Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. to oppose Alabama law and culture by marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma’s protest for civil rights. Read More >

A Faith that Produces Food

Darriel Harris

Darriel Harris

Program Officer, Baltimore Food and Faith Project

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Ribbon-cutting for Strength to Love Farm

Anyone who has met Elder Harris of Newborn Holistic Ministries of Sandtown-Winchester in Baltimore knows that he is an exceptional leader, a man dedicated to his community, and a man of faith. A testament to those qualities is Newborn Holistic Ministries, which has established a suite of projects that include Martha’s Place, Jubilee Arts, and now, the Strength to Love Farm.

The Strength to Love Farm, Elder Harris’s latest initiative, has a goal that is at least threefold: provide dignity-verifying employment opportunities to ex-offenders, beautify areas of blight within Sandtown-Winchester Read More >

Food & Faith Project launches contest to inspire ‘good food’ dialogue, actions

Leo Horrigan, MHS

Leo Horrigan, MHS

CLF Correspondent

Center for a Livable Future

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, Read More >