Food and Faith is a blog of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
While the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is not currently boycotting Sakuma Bros. farms, we serve on the board and financially support the National Farm Worker Ministry, which is boycotting Sakuma Bros. in solidarity with Familias Unidas por la Justicia and along with several Presbyterian Hunger Program grantee partners from around the country. Last month, the president of Farm Worker Ministry Northwest, Gabriela Raquel Ríos, PhD, met with Danny Weeden, the CEO of Sakuma Bros. The dialogue will continue this Friday when National Farm Worker Ministry board members, including a PC(USA) representative will meet with Mr. Weeden and John Erb, vice president at Driscoll's in Washington DC.
Gabriela gives her account of the day below and this video gives the highlights.
Following the National Farm Worker Ministry’s endorsement of the Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) called boycott of Sakuma Bros., Driscoll’s berries and Häagen-Dazs strawberry ice cream, we have been urging farm worker supporters to sign postcards to the companies. We have thus far received postcards from 750 people of faith and conscience around the country. A delegation from our partner Farm Worker Ministry Northwest agreed to deliver your postcards in person to Sakuma Bros. CEO Danny Weeden. What follows is the report of that delivery attempt. While Mr. Weeden would not accept your postcards, know that the message you – a supporter of justice for farm workers – wanted to send was heard by the company.
by Gabriela Raquel Ríos, PhD, President, Farm Worker Ministry Northwest
On January 8, I and Farm Worker Ministry-Northwest (FWM-NW) members, Debi Covert-Bowlds, Carla Shafer, Kristen Barber and Mike Betz traveled to Mt. Vernon in hopes of meeting with Sakuma Bros. CEO, Danny Weeden in support of Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ). Such a meeting, we later discovered, has not been granted to any FUJ member.
My name is Ashley Earley and I am serving as a Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) in Boston this year and our focus is food justice. I will be posting periodically onto this blog about various food related topics for the next year. First, I would like to introduce myself. I am from Rock Hill, SC (just south of Charlotte, NC) and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in May with a bachelors in biology and a minor in math. I am currently taking a gap year before going to graduate school for a master’s in plant biology and afterwards plan to go into research. I have never been to the New England area before, but I am so far really enjoying my time in Boston.
For this year, I am serving at First Presbyterian Church in Brookline and at a non-profit called Woman and Girls Thriving in Brookline with a focus in the Healthy Food and Lifestyle working group. My role will be to learn and educate about food justice.
Also as part of the program we will be participating in two different food challenges. From September to the end of January is the local eating challenge and February to the end of July is the SNAP (food stamp) challenge.
A big thank you to Adam Liebowitz at North Star Fund, a fellow member of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders, for this great collection of news on all things food and farming.
Don't Let Food Industry Stir the Pot. Pam Kock, Huffington Post, Mar 23, 2015
The PR War Continues: Monsanto and the myth of peaceful coexistence. Laetitia Benador, Food First, Apr 2, 2015
Trade Rules Create Obstacle Course for a Better Food System. Karen Hansen-Kuhn, IATP, May 15, 2015
John Oliver Explains the Abuses of the Chicken Industry (Not the Ones You Think). L.V. Anderson, Slate, May 18, 2015
Walmart’s Sustainability Promises: Myth vs. Reality. Steve Holt, Civil Eats, Jun 5, 2015
Egg rationing in America has officially begun. Roberto Ferdman, Washington Post, Jun 5, 2015
Whole Foods Markets: Throwing Organic Farmers Under the Bus? Cornucopia Institute, Jun 12, 2015
Climate Change Poses Serious Threats to Food Distribution. Elizabeth Grossman, Earth Island Journal, Mar 4, 2015
The Color of Food: America's Invisible Farmers. Natasha Bowens, Civil Eats, Apr 14, 2015
The Color of Food: Building Autonomy as African American Farmers. Natasha Bowens, Civil Eats, Apr 14, 2015
Promised a Supermarket Five Years Ago, a Housing Project Is Still Waiting. Keith Williams, New York Times, Apr 17, 2015
The World Bank’s Long War on Peasants. Eric Holt-Giménez and Tanya M. Kerssen, Food First, Apr 20, 2015
What happened to America’s black farmers? Madeleine Thomas,Grist, Apr 24, 2015
Justice for farmworkers as labor rights bill makes overdue progress in the New York State Senate. Editorial, NY Daily News, May 3, 2015
Can We Finally Treat Food Workers Fairly? Mark Bittman, New York Times, May 27, 2015
The New Food Movement Has a Problem with Race. Lauren Rothman, Mucnhies, May 29, 2015
The Food Revolution and the War for Our Minds. Jonathan Latham, Rural America, Jun 12, 2015
School Lunch May Be Next to Nudge Antibiotics Off the Plate. Maryn McKenna, National Geographic, May 8, 2015
In Newark, a Vertical Indoor Farm Helps Anchor an Area’s Revival. C.J. Hughes, New York Times, Apr 7, 2015
Why “Clean Label” School Lunch May Be a Pipe Dream. Bettina Elias Siegel, Civil Eats, Apr 9, 2015
Council Members Ask De Blasio to Invest in Farmland. Samar Khurshid, Gotham Gazette, Apr 21, 2015
USDA Report Shows Increase in Activity of Local and Regional Food Systems. AJ Hughes, Seedstock, May 10, 2015
Vermont: America’s Food Relocalization Laboratory. Steve Holt, Civil Eats, May 13, 2015
Let’s Help Create More Farmers. Mark Bittman, New York Times, Jun 10, 2015
30 Women Under 30 Changing Food. Danielle Nierenberg, Huffington Post, Jun 23, 2015
I was blessed with an eight-week extended study leave spanning from January 19, when I pointed myself in the direction of India, until March 17, when I landed back in about-to-bloom Louisville. Part of the eight weeks in India and Sri Lanka was meeting Presbyterian Hunger Program Joining Hands partners and learning about their efforts to strengthen their food sovereignty. Part was immersing myself in this ancient/modern, spiritual/material land to learn from the people how they navigate and stay healthy in a rapidly changing world, and to rejuvenate myself as I celebrate 16 years of service to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
This page is designed to help you virtually travel with me. You will find my crazy route, photo galleries, videos and reports. All are found on this Interactive Map and they are also listed below. Click on this link or the map to open it in another window.
The ripple effect of contributions to the Hunger Program, mostly through One Great Hour of Sharing, creates waves of support for organizations like World Hunger Relief, which trains young people like Kaley and Ester, and many more. World Hunger Relief, based on their farm in Waco, Texas, also achieves the difficult task of making connections between local hunger and global hunger. Here are the profiles of two of their interns from their website. We are proud to be a partner!
Intern Profile | Kaley Necessary
Food Systems Intern & Garden Club Coordinator
Kaley comes to us from Indiana Wesleyan University, where she graduated in the spring of 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Pre-Medicine. She also received a minor in International Community Development. Passionate about public health, Kaley became an intern with the Uganda Village Project. She was in Iganga, Uganda for 3 months where she worked as a public health educator conducting weekly education sessions on malaria, sexually transmitted infections, intestinal parasite prevention, family planning methods, nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, and safe water. Her “desire to see people take ownership of their health and well being” grew stronger while in Uganda.
Kaley has strong passions for development and agriculture. In Uganda, she realized her desire to address public health issues through the gateway of agriculture. After her time at World Hunger Relief, Kaley will continue to pursue knowledge of development and agriculture to prepare herself to serve in a developing country. She also hopes to apply her training in a community somewhere in the United States to help develop local food systems.
Intern Profile | Esther Honegger
Coming from Lake Zurich, IL, Esther graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2013. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science with a minor in Chemistry. Throughout college, Esther was involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the Pre-Veterinary Club at her school. She was also able to intern at the Champaign County Humane Society, where she monitored the medical and behavioral statuses of the resident animals.
During her participation in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Esther had the privilege to attend a 3-week mission trip to Malawi, Africa, where she served at an orphanage. She was able to teach the children about basic animal biology and directed her teammates in helping her with daily activities.
Esther is using her time at WHRI to learn practical skills in animal agriculture so that she can serve people in a more comprehensive way. She plans to use this knowledge and the knowledge from her studies “to benefit the people of developing nations who don’t have the opportunities to learn about animal biology and health in the depth that I have.”