Food Ideas - sources, scraps and food chains
1. Teaching Gardens
United Church of Rogers Park owned a decrepit house next to the church. And like all city churches, it needed parking. BUT UCRP did not tear it down and pave the lot! Instead, they make it into a community teaching garden.
Rather than simply lay out plots and rent land, the church, led by Deacon Wesley Dorr, created a teaching ministry for neighborhood folks, especially the young folks. There are flowers, vegetables, worship space - there's even a greenhouse!
2. Community Garden
Even if it's not a full-fledged ministry, if your church has land, it can invite community folks who have none to rent garden plots or raised-bed boxes, as Brookfield Compassion has done; a great way to make new friends. Brookfield's boxes are tended by families and Girl Scout troops, and there is a picnic area with tables and a firepit at one end.
The plan is to add a full-sized labyrinth at the other end, including a weatherproof box of mp3 players with a variety to meditative music for folks to borrow as they walk the path.
4. Food in the church
Food is about hospitality, but today with so many folks eating so many different ways, hospitality can be tricky.
Are healthy snacks as well as salty and sugary ones available at meetings and coffee hour?
Are vegetarian entrees welcome at potlucks and ministries with persons experiencing homelessness? Is there a lot of food left over and wasted after events? Do you encourage folks to take it home?
Can you have a compost bin for non-meat food scraps, with compost destined for your garden or landscape plantings?
And do you look for products from companies who are working for legal, sustainable palm oil?
3. Coffee and Tea
Do you offer water as well as coffee and tea? And is your coffee and tea fair trade coffee and tea? Use, and offer for sale, Equal Exchange coffee, tea and chocolate. You can earn a profit for your church, enable members to obtain fair trade products, and bless the growers who produce it.