Food and Faith is a blog of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
Junk Food Awareness Day
It’s late on a Saturday night, dark, and we’re all tired and have gotten a little lost. We finally pull up to this large cabin in the woods that’s overflowing with people we don’t know. We get there right as mass is starting– the atmosphere is relaxed but sacred, the room crowded but cozy. There are candles everywhere and the homily is about Nelson Mandela and nonviolence. After the service all 60 of us share a potluck meal and later whoever is still there gathers around the wood stove in the living room to sing folk songs into the night.
We knew right away this was an interesting and unique place.
THE BRIGHT LIGHT OF JOHN KINSMAN
The physical life of John Kinsman has ended, but he lives fiercely in the hearts and minds of the myriad people he touched and his many close friends.
Wisconsin dairy farmer, a dear friend to many, a tireless warrior for food sovereignty, and a champion of family farmers in his home town and literally around the world. While continuing to run his dairy farm, John traveled around the US and the globe showing up wherever people needed to hear about the plight of family farmers, how they needed a fair price, and the need to turn upside down exploitative trade and farm policies. Even as he began to decline he would be out with the masses, marching with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and speaking in front of crowds.
This quote gives you a sense of John's unique humor and colorful stories, "Organizing farmers is like pushing a wheelbarrow of frogs.”
John lived life with abundance, fought for justice, laughed with friends and enemies, inspired me and so many others, and will be sorely missed!
~andrew kang bartlett
"John Kinsman, a dairy farmer and loving husband and father from the hilly Driftless region of Wisconsin was an unlikely and unassuming giant in the global struggle for justice and food sovereignty. But a giant he was, touching the lives of countless people around the world in his 87 years of farming, protesting, strategizing and building relationships and solidarity.John died peacefully yesterday at 87, on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, surrounded by family on his farm."
Read the "In Memory of John Kinsman," by Siena Chrisman on the WhyHunger blog.
Why don't people eat all their food before it expires? And why are the holiday boy scout food drives or the Souper Bowl of Caring, the only times people look through all the food that's in their house? Food Justice starts at home folks! America, lets cut back on the waste and eat the food we buy!
Why are so many people hungry if there is so much food wasted?
“You can be an ambulance driver at the bottom of the hill or you can build a fence at the top.”
Christians are good (although not as good as we could be) at the idea of charity which involves taking care of the people who have been thrown off the proverbial mountain—the poor, hungry, and homeless. We do this through emergency assistance such as food pantries, shelters, free meals, etc. We are not so great at asking why are these people poor and underprivileged and then doing something about it—either by building a fence at the top of the hill or by changing the system that only allows a few people at the top, if you’ll allow me to extend the metaphor.